July 2012 CAMCD Update

July 2012 CAMCD Update
July 26, 2012 Dieter MacPherson

1) Medical Cannabis Reforms at Critical Juncture
2) Historic CAMCD Consultations on Medical Cannabis Dispensaries
3) Recent Media Surrounding the Proposed Reforms to the MMAP

1) Medical Cannabis Reforms at Critical Juncture

June 19, 2012 – Ottawa, ON

A consultation process was launched by Health Canada in June of 2011 to inform amendments to the Marihuana Medical Access Program (MMAP). The Canadian Association of Medical Cannabis Dispensaries (CAMCD) participated in the consultations along with other stakeholders, including patients, municipalities, physicians, law enforcement agencies and Canadians.

A summary of the key themes emerging from these consultations was recently released by Health Canada. “We were pleased to see that there was widespread support for creating a regulated industry for the production and distribution of medical cannabis” explained Rade Kovacevic, President of CAMCD. “Health Canada’s summary report also demonstrated stakeholder support for other amendments that we hope will improve patient access to this program.”

“CAMCD is particularly pleased the summary included the view that medical cannabis dispensaries could play an important role in providing education and outreach to individuals who use cannabis for medical purposes” stated Mr. Kovacevic. Over the past 15 years, medical cannabis dispensaries have served over 30,000 patients upon recommendation of their healthcare practitioner. They have vast practical experience with patient care, education, access and administration, and medical cannabis varieties and products.

The summary stated that some stakeholders thought there might be some discomfort with store-front entities. According to Mr. Kovacevic, “this concern was vague in nature and we believe is largely due to stigma and lack of understanding of the role dispensaries play and the benefits they provide to patients and the community. To address this CAMCD will continue to provide their expertise and work collaboratively with Health Canada to help create a reformed MMAP that meets the needs of all stakeholders.”

In collaboration with the University of British Columbia and Canadians for Safe Access, CAMCD will be holding consultation meetings June 28-29 in Vancouver to hear from policy-makers, health care providers, patients and dispensaries in British Columbia. These consultations will provide an opportunity for CAMCD to listen to concerns and answer questions about dispensaries, as well as to receive input into a standards and certification program for medical cannabis dispensaries being developed by CAMCD.

The Canadian Association of Medical Cannabis Dispensaries is a not-for-profit corporation established to promote a regulated community- based approach to medical cannabis access, and to support medical
cannabis dispensaries in the provision of high quality patient care across Canada.


For a copy of the Report on the 2011 Consultations Results:


2) Historic Consultations on CAMCD Standards & Certification Program for Medical Cannabis Dispensaries

In a historic step for medical cannabis in Canada, CAMCD conducted two days of consultations June 28-29 at UBC Robson Square in Vancouver. The consultations brought together key stakeholders from British Columbia to gather information on CAMCD’s Standards & Certification Program for dispensaries.

The first day of consultations were held with an array of public policy and health care stakeholders. Participants included representatives from the Provincial Ministry of Health, municipal councilors and planners, Vancouver Coastal Health, medical health officers, health researchers, physicians and non-governmental organizations. The second day of consultations brought together dispensaries & patients. Almost all of the medical cannabis dispensaries in B.C. participated (comprising over a third of all dispensaries in Canada) along with patient representatives from each organization.

Each day of consultations reviewed the main areas of dispensary operations examining and offering feedback on standards and best practices for the operation of dispensaries, with a focus on dispensary credibility and quality of care provided. Both consultations were immensely constructive. The Standards Program was extremely well-received by all stakeholders and each day garnered great input and engagement from their respective groups. The next step will be incorporating input into the CAMCD Standards & Certification Program, which remains on track for launch in fall of this year.

The consultations were held as part of the Medical Cannabis: Standards, Engagement, Evaluation and Dissemination (SEED) project and funded by the Peter Wall Solutions Initiative, which focuses on practical and innovative solutions to societal problems. The Peter Wall Solutions Initiative (PWSI) enables UBC faculty to team with community organizations in order to address issues of societal importance through innovative, interdisciplinary and academically rigorous research projects. The PWSI is supported by the Peter Wall Endowment to UBC.

June 26 2012 Press Release: Historic Consultations on the Regulation of Medical Cannabis Dispensaries to be held in Vancouver

3) Recent Media Surrounding the Proposed Reforms to the MMAP

Changes to medical pot program could double costs, users say

Ottawa drags out medical pot reform

Medicinal pot users protest proposed changes to marijuana access program

Medical cannabis growers not inspected by Health Canada

Jeet-Kei Leung of the BCCCS and CAMCD explaining the benefits of dispensaries

Compassion Club Challenging Constitution


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