Commercial producers might increase price of medical marijuana

The federal government is looking to eliminate licensed medical marijuana grow-ops in homes.

HEALTH MINISTER LEONA Aglukkaq announces a shift to a new system of regulated commercial producers of medical pot.

The federal government is looking to eliminate licensed medical marijuana grow-ops in homes.

Health Minister Leona Aglukkaq announced Sunday a planned shift to a new system of regulated commercial producers of medical pot who will supply authorized users with a doctor’s prescription.

The plan could adversely affect the North Island Compassion Club, which sells medicinal marijuana and other medications such as cannabis-infused oil to help people who live with cancer and other ailments.

“There’s nothing in these new regulations that allow for compassion clubs,” said NICC manager Ernie Yacub, noting government is considering allowing nurse practitioners to prescribe medical marijuana. “They would absolutely have to do that because doctors have been the problem. They’ve been the gatekeeper. They won’t prescribe.”

The new system, which ends government production of medical pot, is expected to come at a higher price for nearly 26,000 users authorized to possess medical marijuana.

Eliminating personal grow licences means people with limited means will not be be able to afford the medicine, Yacub said.

“They can’t buy it from these commercial producers. It’s too expensive,” said Yacub, who is encouraged that Health Canada is getting out of the licensing business. Authorities have argued home growers typically produce far more plants than required, suggesting abuse of the program by licencees who sell into the illicit market.

“The high value of marijuana on the illicit market increases the risk of home invasions,” Aglukkaq said. “These production operations can also present fire and toxic mold hazards.”

The Fire Chiefs Association of B.C. (FCABC) said the change will improve safety in residential neighbourhoods.

Yacub feels safety claims about fire and mold are “bogus.”

“This whole regulatory scheme is aimed at the law-and-order folks,” he said. “Eliminating personal grow licences makes it very difficult for people to afford the medicine. It’s not covered by the government.”

An exception is the Armed Forces, which he notes is covered by Veteran Affairs.

The federal Ministry of Health intends to implement the system by March 31, 2014, at which point all licences to possess or produce pot would expire.

The government is holding a 75-day comment period for public feedback at http://bit.ly/U4xtqi. It ends Feb. 28, 2013.

Details of new regulations are available at http://bit.ly/SFDUlX.

reporter@comoxvalleyrecord.com

– with files from Black Press and CTV News

Just Posted

Commemorative plaque stolen from Sandwick Cairn in Courtenay

The peacekeepers plaque has been stolen from the Sandwick Cairn on Dingwall… Continue reading

Painter Fiona Ackerman starts North Island College fall 2019 Artist Talk Series

Acclaimed Vancouver-based painter Fiona Ackerman will join North Island College as the… Continue reading

Comox Valley Record readers ‘Take us Along’ on holidays

When it comes to spreading the news, readers of the Comox Valley… Continue reading

Teachers protest to get Courtenay-Comox MLA’s attention

Representatives concerned about class size and composition issues

Some Cumberland businesses closing for climate strike rally Friday

A Climate Strike Cumberland Solidarity Rally is set for outside the Cumberland municipal office

PHOTOS: Young protesters in B.C. and beyond demand climate change action

Many demonstaers were kids and teens who skipped school to take part

Walmart to quit selling e-cigarettes amid vaping backlash

U.S.’s largest retailer points to ‘growing’ complications in federal, state and local regulations

Former B.C. lifeguard gets house arrest for possession of child porn

Cees Vanderniet of Grand Forks will serve six months of house arrest, then two years’ probation

Courtenay college uses former hospital space

North Island College is broadening its horizons to St. Joseph’s Hospital in… Continue reading

Crown alleges resentment of ex-wife drove Oak Bay father to kill his daughters

Patrick Weir alleged in his closing arguments that Andrew Berry is responsible for the deaths of his daughters

‘I’d do it again,’ says B.C. man who swam naked, drunk in Toronto shark tank

David Weaver, of Nelson, was drunk when he went to Ripley’s Aquarium in Toronto on Oct. 12 2018

How to react to Trudeau’s racist photos? With humility, B.C. prof says

‘We are now treating racism as a crime that you cannot recover from’

Victoria man spots online photo of his totem pole 11 years after it was stolen

Mark Trueman restored the pole himself before it was stolen off of his property in Duncan

VIDEO: Fire destroys Williams Lake strip club targeted by past arson attempts

Diamonds and Dust Entertainment Lounge destroyed by fire, as well as New World Tea and Coffee House

Most Read