Canada’s Liberal government announced on April 20 this year that it would be introducing new legislation next spring. A nine-member task force nominated by the provinces and territories will be talking to provincial, territorial and municipal governments, native people, youth and health experts on the subject to determine the intricacies of how the regulation and accompanying legal jargon will unfold around the law.

The task force will be chaired by Anne McLellan, a former deputy prime minister under Paul Martin who has been publicly anti- cannabis for years. Of the eight other task force members, five are doctors so make of that what you will.

The panel is expected to report back to the government by November before legislation is introduced in spring 2017. Regarding cultivation, medical marijuana patients in Canada are no longer limited to getting the drug from a licensed producer. Under new laws, patients can grow their own cannabis to fill their prescription or get someone else to grow it for them. Judge Michael Phelan said in his Feb. 24 decision those rules that “limited a patient to a single government-approved contractor and eliminated the ability to grow one’s own marijuana or choose one’s own supplier” restricted patient liberties under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. He gave the federal government six months to come up with new rules which were adopted on August 24 earlier this year. The immediate future for recreational cultivation doesn’t look good, though the government is looking to the task force for advice on this one too.

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