Canadian health regulator has raised concerns about the quantity of medical cannabis that people were growing at home. The latest data from Health Canada revealed a significant increase in average daily production allowed by healthcare practitioners.
Registered patients grow a limited number of plants
So far, the practitioners allow eligible registered patients to grow a limited number of plants at home for personal use, but no specific number. However, according to the regulator’s latest findings, the quantity rose to 36.2 grams by the end of March 2020. This is a significant increase compared to 25.2 grams in October 2018.
The data from Health Canada also revealed that registered patients’ average purchases have remained as low as 2 – 2.1 grams every month. Registered patients can buy cannabis from licensed producers and federal medical sellers.
Deepak Anand is Chief Executive Officer of Materia Ventures. Regarding this issue, he said:
“An early review of the data signals to me a striking difference in the average amounts prescribed per day in the two different channels. It remains unclear if we are dealing with systemic issues as opposed to targeted ones, as a result of the tremendous pressure the regulator has fallen under recently by provincial and municipal governments.”
The need to revise the home-grow program
Currently, there’s no concrete limit on the number of plants that registered patients can grow at home. Health Canada is at a crossroads to deal with the perceived home-grow program.
“Health Canada is concerned that high daily authorized amounts are, in a few instances, leading to abuse of the access to cannabis for medical purposes framework and are undermining the integrity of the system,” the regulator stated.
In October, CBC News reports showed that the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) seized dozens of illegal cannabis grow operations between July and October. Most of the raided premises had personal product authorization.
According to Health Canada’s findings, 43,211 individuals were allowed to grow cannabis for their personal medical use by the end of September 2020. Some 377,024 people are also registered as patients.