In a world struggling to come to grips with the widespread legalization of marijuana, new measures are passed and new laws are enacted in order to impose a semblance of order in an unfamiliar new industry. Call it ‘growing pains’ but it is inevitable that some of these laws would run counter with the industry that they are seemingly implemented in order to protect.

Take for example the recent restriction with regard to the licenses granted for the cultivation of marijuana. For many, the new laws only serve to make a difficult situation even more so.

The criticisms stem from the decision of the federal government of course Canada to overhaul medical marijuana regulations in the country, essentially restricting the rights of citizens to grow their own plants. As a result of these new regulations, only 13 licenses have been granted to public out of thousands of applications received by Health Canada since April 1, 2014.

To make matters worse, Canadian Health Minister Rona Ambrose also proposed changes to the existing system, which will essentially require legal growers of medical marijuana to report to the government which doctors prescribe marijuana to which patients, and in what amounts. One of the reasons put forth by Health Canada to defend the new regulations was the supposed abuse of licenses by certain growers, who were allegedly growing more marijuana than they are legally allowed, and selling the excess to non-medical customers.

At least one recognized medical marijuana organization has protested the amendment to the existing system. Calling the new regulations “redundant”, spokesperson Adam Greenblatt of the Medical Cannabis Access Society out of Montreal said that previous amendments made to the medical marijuana program were already effective at reducing incidences of license abuse. Citing the restriction that effectively prevents individuals from growing their own marijuana, Greenblatt said that he saw little risk of abuse of the current system, and that the licensing system prevented growers from cultivating more marijuana than that which they are legally allowed.dispensary window

Apart from the redundancy of the new regulations, Greenblatt also noted that the new laws will make it more difficult for patients to find doctors who will be willing to prescribe marijuana. Mentioning the existence of provincial regulations that already require doctors to report prescribing information to the government, Greenblatt said that the new system would result in more doctors even more wary of prescribing medical marijuana.

The head of the Medical Cannabis Access Society did have a suggestion to make with regard to how the government should be dealing with the medical marijuana issue. Instead of an increasingly more restrictive system, Greenblatt proposed the establishment of specialized clinics that deal specifically with medical marijuana patients. According to Greenblatt, these clinics should undergo thorough instruction on how to deal with the complicated issues surrounding the medical marijuana industry. For Greenblatt, clinics that would be able to handle the needs of the community and deal with the new regulations would be more beneficial than redundant and increasingly restrictive amendments to existing laws.

About the Author: Brian Ellis

With 6 years' experience in business journalism, Brian is the person we turn to for anything related to the business of cannabis. His news coverage spans topics including marijuana business and finance. Brian's work features on,, , and

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