Licensed producers of medical marijuana saw their stocks lose value yesterday. It came after the Federal Court decision in support of patients who want to grow their own medical cannabis at home. Despite the drop in stocks, the LPs said they welcomed the decision as good news for patients.
"Canadian courts have recognized again and again that people have a right to medical marijuana and this was reaffirmed again today. This is good news," said a press release from Tweed and Bedrocan, two licensed producers owned by Canopy Growth Corporation (CVE: CGC).
Judge Michael Phelan's decision was the culmination of the Allard case - a Federal Court challenge to changes made by the previous Conservative government. Under the 2014 rules, patients could only access medical marijuana from licensed producers through a mail-order system and were no longer permitted to grow their own medicine at home.
Bedrocan and Tweed did point out that the court decision is not an outright indictment of the 2014 federal regulatory framework, called the "Marihuana for Medical Purposes Regulations" (MMPR). In the release, they said the courts were merely saying patients needed greater access in the form of home growing. They also urged the government to press ahead with efforts to establish a regulated system for recreational and medical cannabis.
"The court was clear that this is not an attack on the substance of the MMPR. Rather, the MMPR in its current form does not provide sufficient access to cannabis for those who need it. Increased ease of access to medical cannabis for those that need it is welcome. In the broader context of the cannabis policy discussion already underway, this only reaffirms the need for the government to move quickly to establish a framework for both medical and nonmedical cannabis that serves all Canadians."
In an interview with CTV news, Tweed's president Mark Zekulin said he thinks many will continue to buy online through LPs because they will not want to grow at home. He said the ball is now in the government's court and hopes to see better insurance coverage for medical marijuana patients.
Watch the full interview below, or if you're having trouble viewing here some readers are reporting better luck watching directly on CTV's website.
Tweed president Mark Zekulin reacts after a federal court ruled in favour of allowing patients to grow their own cannabis.