NORML Canada: July 2015 Newsletter

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Greetings Cannabis Law Reform Community

In this month’s newsletter:

1. A Note From John Conroy On The Important Formal Decision from Justice Phelan on the Injunction

2. City of Vancouver Sending Warning Letters to Dispensaries That Sell Edibles

3. July 8th Statement from Health Canada in Regards to Smith

4. Cannabis Became Officially Legal in Oregon This July

5. Vancouver Police Make Arrest On “Cannabis Day,” July 1 2015


A Note From John Conroy On The Important Formal Decision from Justice Phelan on the Injunction

John Conroy

Regretfully Phelan J. dismissed our motion to vary the injunction and a copy of the Order can be reviewed at this link (see link below).

I am and expect all of you will also be very disappointed in the ruling as he does not expressly address the ability to change production or other addresses due to unforeseen circumstances and does not set out fully what happened and I obviously failed to persuade him as to the facts and circumstances warranting an ability on the part of approved patients to make changes pending the final decision.

While this decision is probably subject to appeal, at present I believe the best course is to finish the submissions on the relevance and impact of Smith this month and await the courts final decision which will hopefully come soon in the fall.

Consequently:

YOU STILL CANNOT MAKE ANY CHANGES TO YOUR MMAR LICENCES, INCLUDING CHANGING SITES OR ADDRESSES COVERED BY THE INJUNCTION UNLESS AND UNTIL FURTHER ORDER OF THE COURT.

John W. Conroy QC
Conroy & Company
Barrister & Solicitor
2459 Pauline Street
Abbotsford, B.C.
Canada
V2S 3S1

For more information, please visit: www.johnconroy.com/pdf/Order-Phelan-J-July-15-2015-re-Motion-to-Vary.pdf


City of Vancouver Sending Warning Letters to Dispensaries That Sell Edibles

Edible Cannabis

Dispensaries in the city of Vancouver began receiving letters indicating that “City policy is that edibles, except for oils, tinctures and capsules, will not be permitted to be sold. Effective immediately, edibles cannot be sold in your business.

These letters were issued by the City of Vancouver’s planning and development services department, and the City further warns dispensary owners that if inspectors find edibles in the dispensary then the inspector will issue a verbal warning and take photographic evidence of the edibles. Any dispensary found in violation will not be eligible for the new marijuana business licences created by the city unless the sale of edibles ceases.

The letter also states that smoking, dabbing, vaping, and e-cigarette use within a premises will also no longer be tolerated. Violation of this rule will result in the store manager being issued a ticket for $250 and it could lead to a business licence revocation or problematize the dispensary’s application.

A variety of bylaws have also been approved to set out how cannabis storefronts are to operate. These bylaws include rules regarding the dispensary’s location (cannot be within 300 meters of a school or community centre) and minors are not allowed in the store. No smoking signs must also be posted.


July 8th Statement from Health Canada in Regards to Smith

Medical cannabis concentrates

Health Canada released a statement on July 8th, 2015 regarding the recent Supreme Court ruling in Smith which was released on June 11th, 2015.

The statement clarifies that: “individuals authorized to possess marijuana under the MMPR and those falling under the terms of a court injunction (for example, Allard injunction) may now possess marijuana derivatives for their own use. In order to eliminate uncertainty around a legal source of supply of marijuana, Health Canada has taken the immediate step of issuing a section 56 exemption under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act (CDSA), allowing licensed producers to produce and sell cannabis oil and fresh marijuana buds and leaves in addition to dried marijuana (plant material that can be used to propagate marijuana will not be permitted to be sold by licensed producers to clients).”

Regulations on the marijuana derivatives are lengthy and can be read in full here: news.gc.ca/web/article-en.do?mthd=tp&crtr.page=1&nid=997359&crtr.tp1D=980

Some highlights include:

  • Packaging must carry the following warning: “KEEP OUT OF REACH OF CHILDREN”
  • No cannabis oil that will exceed 30mg per mL of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)
  • Label must specify amounts in milligrams of THC and CBD
  • The quantity of fresh marihuana buds or leaves or cannabis oil must be stated in equivalency terms to one gram of dried marijuana and the information must be included on the label and information on the conversion method must be on their websites.
  • No therapeutic claims can be made.
  • Licensed producers must notify Health Canada of any adverse reactions related to fresh marijuana buds and leaves or cannabis oil of which they become aware.

Cannabis Became Officially Legal in Oregon This July

Welcome Oregon

The first of July brought great news to Oregon as it became the latest state to legalize cannabis for recreational use. Oregon has joined Alaska, Colorado, Washington, and the District of Columbia as the other states to defy the ongoing federal law prohibiting marijuana.

Oregon’s Measure 91 means that you can possess and use marijuana if you are 21 or older. In addition, you can have up to eight ounces inside your home and grow up to four plants out of public view.

However, the state is careful to advise users that while sharing or giving marijuana away is permitted, selling it (receiving money in exchange) is not. The retail industry has not gotten off the ground yet as the state will not be accepting applications from growers and retailers until 2016. Thus, for the time being the only permissible means of access to an adequate supply will be personal production.

Oregon has created a website to advise the public of what became legal as of July 1 and what still remains illegal. For more information, please visit: whatslegaloregon.com/


Vancouver Police Make Arrest On “Cannabis Day,” July 1 2015

Crime Scene

Marijuana activists hold an annual protest on the grounds of the Vancouver Art Gallery every July 1st. The Canada Day marijuana protest is an event that has been held for nineteen years now without incident. That changed on this years’ Canada Day celebration when an unfortunate confrontation erupted between marijuana legalization advocates and police, leaving many to wonder if the city had suddenly changed its view of policing users and activists after several people were arrested.

Although Cannabis Day protests had been staged annually before, this was the first year that City of Vancouver officials had requested that the unlicensed event be cancelled or moved outside of the downtown area.

This confrontation occurred just days after Vancouver city council voted to regulate the cities’ medical marijuana dispensaries, becoming the first city in Canada to do so.


 

Help end cannabis prohibition in Canada by donating to NORML Canada or purchasing some merchandise. Check our website to keep up to date on our Election Campaign project, as well as our upcoming Cannabis Legalization Conventions. NORML Canada’s President and Founder, John Conroy QC is also lead counsel on an important case for medical cannabis patients known as Allard. You can stay up to date on the Allard case at: johnconroy.com

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