notsofasteddie

Over 4,000 now able to grow medical cannabis

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Over 4,000 now able to grow medical cannabis

 

As of May 1 there were 4,480 Canadians with active registrations for personal or designated cannabis cultivation. 17 new employees hired to help process.


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By David Brown  
May 8, 2017 


Enrolment in Health Canada’s personal cultivation program has nearly doubled in less than three months, according to new figures from the agency. To handle this, Health Canada’s Office of Medical cannabis recently hired 17 new employees to help with processing and responding to questions.

 

As of May 1, there are now 4,480 Canadians with active registrations for personal or designated cultivation under the agency’s medical cannabis access program. The regulator says the average wait time is now ten weeks, although many patients still report waiting four months or more in some cases. Under the program, Health Canada authorizes registered patients to grow their own cannabis or choose a designated grower.

 

Enrolment is up significantly from figures Health Canada provided to Lift earlier this year, showing 2,554 individuals allowed to grow their own cannabis or designate someone to do so, with average processing time being about seven weeks.

 

In response to a request from Lift, Health Canada has provided an update on their personal and designated cultivation licensing program. Lift has been covering this issue since February, looking at wait times that have, according to several patients and physicians, been several months.

 

Gary Scott Holub, Media Relations Officer for the Government of Canada, says the wait times are dependent on the amount of applications received, as well as if the applications are processed properly by the patient and physician. The agency says they have provided expanded instructions for patients on filling out the associated forms.

 

Examples of commonly encountered issues include:

medical documents that do not appear to be original;

discrepancies between information in the medical document and the application form;

documents that are not signed by the applicant, or are signed incorrectly; or

the incorrect person is identified as the designated producer.

 

Holub says Health Canada began accepting applications for personal or designated cultivation in August 2016 and had 15 full time employees working on processing applications for home growing and designated growers during the 2016-2017 fiscal year (ending March 31), out of 74 employees at the Office of Medical Cannabis. They have recently hired 11 new client service representatives to help process applications, and six new client service representatives to respond to questions from Canadians about how to apply, or the status of their application.

 

Health Canada’s 2017–18 Departmental Plan says they intend to address gaps in regulatory programs like the medical cannabis program and “restore legislative and policy capacity.” Spending for Health Canada has been increasing.

 

You can read the Q and A below. It has been edited for clarity.

 

Q1: What are the most current figures for Licenses issued for personal cultivation and for designated production under the ACMPR?

A1: As of May 1, 2017, there were 4,480 individuals with active Health Canada registrations under the Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations. This includes 4,148 individuals authorized to produce limited amounts of cannabis for their own medical purposes and 332 individuals who have designated someone to produce it for them.

 

Q2: How many staff are involved in the personal cultivation approval process?

A2: The Office of Medical Cannabis (OMC) in Health Canada is responsible for developing and implementing legislation, regulations, policies and operational programs that support access to cannabis for medical purposes. As part of these responsibilities, OMC issues registration certificates to Canadians who are authorized by their health care practitioner to produce a limited amount of cannabis for their own medical purposes or on behalf of another individual.

 

During fiscal year 2016-17, OMC employed 74 individuals, 15 of whom worked full-time on the review of applications and issuance of registration certificates since the new program’s inception on August 24, 2017. Health Canada has recently added 11 new client service representatives to the registration team to increase the team’s capacity to process new and renewal applications from Canadians in a timely manner.

 

Q3: Lift has been consistently hearing reports of patients waiting several months to get their paperwork approved by Health Canada. Are there specific reasons why such approvals could take several months? What does the approval process entail once a patient’s paperwork makes its way to Health Canada?

 

A3: On average, the processing time is 10 weeks, depending on the complexity of the application. In some cases, the application is processed more quickly or, as you have noted, it can take longer.

 

The time to review an application and issue a registration certificate is highly dependent upon the number of applications received, and the quality or the completeness of the applications. It also depends on the response time of applicants or health care practitioners, who may be contacted by our client service representatives to verify information or to request additional clarification.

To ensure the requirements specified in the regulations are met, Health Canada must validate the information on the application and the medical document. For example, our client service representatives verify that an original medical document has been provided, that it has been signed by a healthcare practitioner who is authorized by, and in good standing with, a provincial regulatory authority, and that the medical document has not been altered or falsified in any way.

 

For the benefit of your readers, who may also be applicants, examples of commonly encountered issues include:
•medical documents that do not appear to be original;
•discrepancies between information in the medical document and the application form;
•documents that are not signed by the applicant, or are signed incorrectly; or
•the incorrect person is identified as the designated producer.

 

To assist patients, the Department has posted a guidance document that provides instructions on how to correctly complete the registration form. In response to patient feedback, Health Canada has also recently updated the sample medical document that individuals can take to their health care practitioner to be completed as an original medical document. Both documents can be found here: www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/topics/production-cannabis-for-your-own-medical-purposes.

 

As indicated above, Health Canada has recently added 11 new client service representatives to the registration team. An additional 6 client service representatives have also joined the call centre to help respond to questions from Canadians about how to apply or the status of their application.

 

Health Canada will continue to work with patients and patient advocates to identify and act on opportunities to improve the processing of applications from individuals authorized to produce cannabis for their own medical purposes. We are committed to taking additional measures as necessary to ensure all applications are processed as expeditiously as possible.

 

Q4: Once a patient has authorization to purchase starting materials from a licensed producer, how often may they purchase their limit in clones or seeds based on their grams-per-day authorization from their doctor? (assuming crop failure, etc.).

 

A4: Only those individuals who have registered with Health Canada to produce a limited quantity of cannabis for their own medical purposes or to designate someone to produce it for them are permitted to purchase starting materials (plants and seeds) from licensed producers. A designated person is not permitted to register with a licensed producer to purchase starting materials.

The registration certificate provided by Health Canada will indicate the number of cannabis plants that an individual or their designated person, if any, can produce, and this number will determine how much starting materials the registered individuals can purchase. For example, the total number of plants you order from a licensed producer cannot be more than the number authorized on your registration certificate. If you want to order seeds, you may order 3 marijuana seeds for each authorized plant. For example, if you are authorized to produce 5 plants, you may purchase a maximum of 15 seeds. Also, you can order plants and seeds more than once. If your crop is not successful, you can place another order with the same licensed producer for more plants or seeds, but you cannot have more plants at your site than the number identified on your registration certificate.

 

In addition, the regulations enable individuals, once registered, to obtain an interim supply from a licensed producer while they wait for their plants to produce harvestable product. Individuals registered with Health Canada can become clients of a licensed producer by using a copy of their Health Canada registration certificate to register. Individuals may also continue to access cannabis from a licensed producer while producing their own plants as long as the possession limit of the lesser of 150 grams or 30 times the daily quantity of dried marijuana (or the equivalent in products) is not exceeded. Individuals can only use a Health Canada registration certificate to register with one licensed producer to access interim supply.

 

lift

 

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4 hours ago, notsofasteddie said:

On average, the processing time is 10 weeks

I am 10 weeks this week so I think I will give them another call. They said 3 weeks ago that it was to early to know anything as I wasnt even in the system then.

Its good to know about still being able to get a supply while growing and you can repeat purchase if you screw up your grow.

 

Just called them and they said they received my application March 17th I sent it Feb 24th I cant believe it took all that time for them to get it. Its still early as far as they are concerned, I am to check back in another 3 weeks to see what is happening. So we are at 7 and a half weeks since they say they received it :(

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Individuals may also continue to access cannabis from a licensed producer while producing their own plants as long as the possession limit of the lesser of 150 grams or 30 times the daily quantity of dried marijuana (or the equivalent in products) is not exceeded.

Wow this goes completely against what I was told when I registered

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1 hour ago, Shadey said:

I am 10 weeks this week so I think I will give them another call.

 

I sent mine in Feb 7 and nada so far, good luck!

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I'm still on the fence about applying but it looks like the medical regs are going to remain the same regardless what happens with the new recreational laws coming up.

 

The idiots that made the application form filled all the boxes for birth-date etc with YYYY/MM/DD so there isn't room to write in the dates.  Are you supposed to use a felt pen to write on top or squeeze it in so they can't read it and reject your application.

 

I've heard that they will back-date your grow permit to the date you got your form signed by a doctor.  So do you get a renewal from your doctor 10 or more weeks before applying for renewal to grow?  I got my doctor's letter last August just after the latest regs came into effect so if I applied now I'll have only a couple months of grow time left before having to get a new doctor permit and then apply for a new grow permit.  That would mean I'll likely have a month or more that I won't be legal while waiting the 10 or more weeks for a fresh permit.  Catch-22 if I ever saw one.

 

I think I'll just make sure I get a new doctor's permit and say fuggit to applying for a grow permit.  On my 17th year of growing here without problems so might as well just keep going as before.

 

Why is government shit so f'ed up? :mad:

 

:peace:

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I went through the process last year.  When I received my license it was dated effective the day the doctor signed my recommendation so yes you lose out on the processing time.

 

I would not hesitate to apply under the ACMPR.  You are correct when you say you have grown for X years without issue.  Having a license means absolute freedom to carry, posses and use it like tobacco if you wish.  It was quite revolutionary to my experience.  In effect, life-changing.

 

 When I finally received my license for some reason I received a duplicate so one hangs proudly outside my cabinet and one I can use to carry with me.  Fuck man, I can fly on commercial planes in Canada with 120 grams, legally.  How cool is that?  My only restrictions are I can't sell it or give it away.

 

The medical system will allow far more than the 4 plant limit proposed by the government as it stands now IMHO. 

 

 

 

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Supporting a broken system only serves to perpetuate it.

 

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I don't understand your reply.  I can carry, grow, store and smoke without problem.  Licensed by Health Canada.

 

That doesn't sound broken at all.  It sounds like a dream come true.IMG_20170426_090154.thumb.jpg.2f159e1b0febe9b15e2801e5f1fd93f6.jpg

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25 minutes ago, Unregistered said:

Supporting a broken system only serves to perpetuate it.

 

 

It is the only system we have at the moment and Trudeau the Younger says there are no plans to change it for the foreseeable future so it's go with what we have or, like me, stay in the grow closet and risk arrest and all that goes with it.

 

The part of the system I hate and for sure will never be part of is buying pot from LPs or any corporate weed dealers.  If they don't allow smaller growers to participate the war on drugs will just keep going as it did with bootleggers back in the day and to a much smaller extent still continues.  Illegal tobacco is getting bigger all the time as they keep raising the "sin" taxes and I'd be getting that if I knew someone dealing it.

 

I think I'll wait until I get a renewal for my medpot then file to grow.  Maybe the wait times will be reduced by the fall.

 

:peace:

 

 

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On 5/18/2017 at 2:56 AM, Squilly said:

I went through the process last year.  When I received my license it was dated effective the day the doctor signed my recommendation so yes you lose out on the processing time.

 

I would not hesitate to apply under the ACMPR.  You are correct when you say you have grown for X years without issue.  Having a license means absolute freedom to carry, posses and use it like tobacco if you wish.  It was quite revolutionary to my experience.  In effect, life-changing.

 

 When I finally received my license for some reason I received a duplicate so one hangs proudly outside my cabinet and one I can use to carry with me.  Fuck man, I can fly on commercial planes in Canada with 120 grams, legally.  How cool is that?  My only restrictions are I can't sell it or give it away.

 

The medical system will allow far more than the 4 plant limit proposed by the government as it stands now IMHO. 

 

 

 

 

What really irks me is this yearly renewal for both the doc's recommendation then renewing your grow permit.  With the wait times at Hellth Canada it's so easy to have a lapse of legality for a month or more waiting for HC's approval.  Not to mention that should they decide to do more inspections it would be just like them to inspect when they know you are waiting for that approval.  By there rules you have to dispose of all your plants and any pot you have in storage until all the permits are in place.  Like anyone will do that but then they face the chance they could get busted in the interim.

 

Once you apply with HC you are on the federal gov'ts hit list and that is something I don't want to be on in case things go sideways.

 

:peace:

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I too dislike the renewal process.  On the other hand BC requires me to see a doctor every 90 days for a renewal on the most common of blood pressure medications.

 

The wait time is different but if we truly want to be taken seriously as medical cannabis patients, whatever that means to you, you have to follow a process.  That is really no different than any other prescription.

 

 

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It really is different than a prescription tho.  For one thing it's not a prescription.  It's a recommendation from your doctor that you be allowed to use cannabis to treat what ails you.  It also doesn't have a Drug Identification Number, DIN, so is treated much differently than drugs that do.

 

Getting a doctor up here to sign off has been impossible so I either have to pay an outrageous price to get some Skype doc to do it or travel out of province like I did last year to get one to sign and just bill my medical for the two visits needed to get it done.  Name another drug that makes you jump through so many hoops to acquire.

 

It still boggles my mind that my family doctor feels qualified enough to prescribe me any number of mind bending drugs to treat my depression.  Something I don't think an MD is any where's near qualified to do.  But when I ask about getting him to sign he claims he doesn't know enough about pot to feel qualified to give me the OK.  Even when I tell him I've been self-medicating with it for years and just want that piece of paper so I don't get busted if caught with a small bag of bud.  Talk about hypocrisy.

 

The new penalties being brought in with recreational legality are just to keep the cops, lawyers and corporate assholes that are trying to corner the pot market happy.  Still going to be handing out criminal records to anyone that doesn't toe the line and that means a lot of people getting busted for a plant.  Until pot is as free to grow and consume as tomatoes it's all just smoke and mirrors to make sure the Libtards get voted in again by the same suckers that fell for the legal pot song the first time.

 

And what if the Libs don't get in and we get another Harper running the country?  We all know what that can mean.

 

I'm probably just being paranoid but I don't trust those bastards as far as I could throw them. :)

 

:peace:

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...sounds like a broken system to me.

 

My pot doc said the 90-day prescription renewal was on Health Canada, but family docs not knowing enough about it to prescribe is coming from the Alberta College of Physicians and Surgeons (or so the GP told me). The clinic housing the pot doc thinks they will be able to have pot on site in the future; talks involve them, the College, and Health Canada.

 

@Squilly

When things are not reasonable then something is broken, if it is not the logic then it must be the system the logic describes. Does it seem reasonable that anyone can go to the garden center and purchase plants that are deadly poison but I need a prescription, registration, and have regulations to follow if I want to grow a non-toxic, apparently healthful plant. Logical inconsistencies like that just spill out of the proposed system and existing regulations because they are built into its design - there is no equivalency or even well defined correspondence between things like: how much yield you get from a plant, how potent the dried plant is, or how many nanograms of THC per milliliter of blood it takes to impair someone - yet they are trying to regulate how many plants you can grow and how much pot you can store, how much of any sample of plant material you should need, and how anyone's body will respond to a given amount of THC at any time.

 

What is and what's coming is better than what was, but it is not what it could or perhaps even should be. I suppose you could call that `arguably broken'. They are continuing with the same prohibition for a large segment of the toking population and a (so far, afaict) similar strategy, which will not accomplish their aim of shutting down/out the black market. That's really broken. Restrictions that are effectively unenforceable (e.g., number of plants you can grow) are broken by design. etc.

 

[my assumptions]

If they have based the system on questionable or bad assumptions then no amount of tweaking will be able to fix it.

If their assumptions were close to reality the resulting breakage would mostly be at the edges, corner cases, extreme situations, small cracks in the system...

 

...but it looks broken in some way, everywhere and from whatever direction I look at it from. So I gotta question whether it is worth trying to tweak, or would we be better off simply rejecting the proposal.

 

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