Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Canada moves forward on distribution of MMJ via pharmacies

Medical marijuana in Canada is one step closer to being distributed by pharmacies. The plan which has been held up by regulatory issues is again moving forward after almost a year.

Currently, 943 people are authorized to possess marijuana for medical conditions ranging from AIDS to multiple sclerosis, once a doctor has indicated that traditional remedies are ineffective.

Of these, 695 have permission to grow the plant themselves, while Health Canada has authorized 77 growers to produce it for other patients.
Not everyone sees the program as a solution however.
"What we're talking about is a potential multimillion-dollar, multi-year program that would only reach 13 to 18 people in this entire province," said [long time reform activist] Philippe Lucas in Victoria.
Also of interest is the change in production values at the government run grow in Flin Flon.
Prairie Plant Systems is also distributing a flowering-bud product that currently contains about 14 per cent THC, the main active ingredient. The company's five-year contract ends in December, but is expected to be extended by a year as Health Canada issues a request for proposals for a new long-term arrangement.

...Earlier versions of the Prairie Plant Systems product came under fire for being too weak and full of stems and leaves. The company has since boosted the THC content and restricted it to buds only.
The pricing appears to be reasonable as well which may help the program gain public acceptance. The biggest obstacle to a similar program in the Netherlands was the over-pricing of the herb as compared to what was available in the private market.

[hat tip to Tim Meehan]


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