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Canadian Supreme Court Votes Unanimously To Broaden Definition Of Medical Marijuana To Include Derivatives

By admin | June 11, 2015

by Ted Smith


Thurs June 11, 2015

Victoria, B.C.: In a unanimous decision the Supreme Court of Canada has ruled that patients should have legal access to cannabis derivatives in a case involving former head baker of the Victoria Cannabis Buyers Club, Owen Smith. The ruling takes effect immediately across the country. A press conference to discuss details of the decision and the trial will take place at the VCBC at 11 am.

In Dec 2009, Owen was arrested making cookies for patients of the VCBC and was charged with possession for the purposes of trafficking THC, the most active chemical in the cannabis plant. Since the beginning of its medical cannabis programs, Health Canada has given patients an authorization to possess and grow cannabis for medical reasons, but has prohibited them from extracting the resins or other active chemicals by making tea, hash or butter to make cookies. For many patients, especially children and the elderly, using cannabis extracts is the only reasonable method of ingestion.

Today’s ruling also confirmed the principle that no one can be convicted of an unconstitutional law, a concept not accepted by some of the lower court judges that dealt with this case. The SCC is very clear in its ruling, stating that a defendant can argue a law violates the rights of others, even if the breach does not directly affect them.

While it is unclear how quickly Health Canada will react to this ruling, there is no doubt many Licensed Producers will be keen to produce cannabis suppositories, capsules and creams. Ironically, though it was a dispensary that fought this case to the high court, storefront compassion clubs have never been part of the federal government’s programs and any changes to the regulations resulting from this decision will likely benefit Licensed Producers. In the meantime, though, patients are safe from the law when they make tea, hash or cookies with their cannabis, if they could legally possess the herb in the first place.

For more information call 250-381-4220 or email…/scc-csc/…/item/15403/

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