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Drugs and Health Products

How to Apply for Marihuana for Medical Purposes

Between June 19, 2013, and March 31, 2014, regulations will allow for two means of obtaining marihuana for medical purposes:

  1. Under the Marihuana Medical Access Regulations, where you must apply to Health Canada; or
  2. Under the new Marihuana for Medical Purposes Regulations, where you submit a document, signed by your doctor or licensed health care practitioner, directly to a licensed producer, once they have been established.

As of March 31, 2014, the Marihuana Medical Access Regulations will be repealed and this means of accessing marihuana for medical purposes under the system established by these regulations will no longer be available.

The information below is relevant only if you are seeking to apply to Health Canada under the Marihuana Medical Access Regulations. Find information about how to access marihuana under the new Marihuana for Medical Purposes Regulations.

Applying for the First Time under the Marihuana Medical Access Regulations

There are three steps when applying to Health Canada for an Authorization to Possess Marihuana for Medical Purposes and for a legal source of supply under the Marihuana Medical Access Program (MMAP):

Step 1 - Consult your Medical Practitioner

First, before you apply to the MMAP, your licensed medical practitioner (medical doctor) and yourself must both be willing to declare that conventional treatment(s) for the Category 1 or 2 symptoms have been tried or considered, and have been found to be ineffective or medically inappropriate for the treatment of your health condition. You can find more information for medical practitioners if you need it.

Step 2 - Choose a Supply Source

Once you and your medical doctor both agree that you should apply to the MMAP to obtain marihuana for your condition and/or symptoms, you must choose a source of supply.

There are three options available to you to obtain a legal supply of marihuana for medical purposes. You must choose one:

  1. Health Canada's supply of dried marihuana, OR
  2. You can produce your own supply of dried marihuana (Personal-Use Production Licence), OR
  3. You can designate another person to produce a supply of dried marihuana for you (Designated-Person Production Licence).

Please note that if you are applying for the first time, as of October 1, 2013, no new applications for Personal-Use Production Licence and Designated-Person Production Licence will be accepted and therefore there will only be two options - access via Health Canada's supply under the Marihuana Medical Access Regulations or registering with a Licensed Producer under the Marihuana for Medical Purposes Regulations.

The option of accessing dried marihuana via a licensed producer will be accessible as soon as the first licensed producer is authorized. Please see Health Canada's licensed producer page to see if a licensed producer is available and refer to the Frequently Asked Questions section for further information about the new Marihuana for Medical Purposes Regulations.

Before you choose what your legal supply of dried marihuana will be, consider the following:

If You Choose Health Canada's Supply:

  • You buy dried marihuana from Health Canada's supply.
  • To be eligible, you must reside in Canada and be authorized to possess dried marihuana.

Please note: The expiry date for all authorizations to possess will be March 31, 2014. At this time you will need to register with a licensed producer and you will no longer be permitted to access a Health Canada supply.

If You Choose Personal-Use Production:

  • You purchase marihuana seeds from Health Canada and use them to produce your own marihuana.
  • To be eligible, you must reside in Canada and be 18 years of age or older, and be authorized to possess dried marihuana.

Please note: Applications for Personal-Use Production Licences must be received by Health Canada before October 1, 2013. As of October 1, 2013, no applications for new Personal-Use Production Licences will be accepted.

All Personal-Use Production Licences will expire March 31, 2014. On that date, all dried marihuana and plants produced under Personal-Use Production Licences must be destroyed.

If You Choose Designated-Person Production:

  • You or your Designated-Person purchase marihuana seeds from Health Canada so that your Designated-Person can use them to produce marihuana on your behalf.
  • You designate another person (known as the "designated person") to produce marihuana for your medical use.
  • To be eligible, you must reside in Canada and be authorized to possess dried marihuana.
  • To be eligible, the person you designate (a designated person) must also reside in Canada and be 18 years of age or older. The person must not have been found guilty, as an adult, within the 10 years preceding your application, of a designated drug offence, or an offence committed outside Canada that, if committed in Canada, would have constituted a designated drug offence.
  • Designated persons may only be issued up to two (2) production licences (you can hold either a Personal-Use Production Licence and a Designated-Person Production Licence or two Designated-Person Production Licences).

Please Note: Applications for new Designated-Person Production Licences must be received by Health Canada before October 1, 2013. As of October 1, 2013, no applications for new Designated-Person Production Licences will be accepted.

All Designated-Person Production Licences will expire March 31, 2014. On that date, all dried marihuana and plants produced under Designated-Person Production Licences must be destroyed.

Step 3 - Apply

Once you have decided which supply option you intend to use, you will need to either complete an application and submit it to Health Canada, or contact a licensed producer for their application process, if you elect to apply under the Marihuana for Medical Purposes Regulations. Each application includes the request for an Authorization to Possess marihuana for medical purposes and a request for the selected source of supply of marihuana for medical purposes.  A guidance document is available to complete each application form.

The application form you need to use depends on which of the three legal supply options you choose under the Marihuana Medical Access Regulations.

Please note: The option of accessing dried marihuana via a licensed producer will be available as soon as the first licensed producer is authorized. Please see Health Canada's licensed producer page to see if a licensed producer is available and refer to the Frequently Asked Questions section for further information about the new Marihuana for Medical Purposes Regulations.

Applying for the First Time Under the Marihuana Medical Access Program

Health Canada Supply
Purchase dried marihuana from Health Canada.

Personal Use Production Licence
Purchase seeds from Health Canada and produce your own marihuana.

*Form F - if the production site is not the applicant's ordinary place of residence and is not owned by the applicant.
  • proof of Signing Authority if the Property owner named is a Corporation.

Please note that applications for Personal-Use Production Licences must be received by Health Canada before October 1, 2013. As of October 1, 2013, no applications for new Personal-Use Production Licences will be accepted.

All Personal-Use Production Licences will expire March 31, 2014. On that date, all dried marihuana and plants produced under Personal-Use Production Licences must be destroyed.

Designated-Person Production Licence
Purchase seeds from Health Canada and designate someone to grow marihuana for you.

*Form F - if the production site is not the applicant's or designated person's ordinary place of residence and is not owned by the applicant or designated person.
  • proof of Signing Authority if the Property owner named is a Corporation.
  • Criminal Record Check (CRC) for the Designated person - Must be an original document from a Canadian Police Force
  • 2 photographs of the Designated Person signed by the applicant

Please note that applications for Designated-Person Production Licences must be received by Health Canada before October 1, 2013. As of October 1, 2013, no applications for new Designated-Person Production Licences will be accepted.

All Designated-Person Production Licences will expire March 31, 2014. On that date, all dried marihuana and plants produced under Designated-Person Production Licences must be destroyed.

Health Canada strives to meet its service standards for processing complete applications within 10 weeks of receiving the application, including new applications, applications to renew, or applications to amend an existing authorization/licence. Please note that the service standard only applies once applications are fully completed. Applications from people with symptoms being treated within the context of compassionate end-of-life care will continue to be given immediate priority.