Legal access to dried marijuana for medical purposes has been available since unique section 56 exemptions made under the controlled drugs and substances act in 1991. There have been a few different amendments to the legality and rights a patient has over the years but as of 2016 medical patients fall under the ACMPR, which stands for the Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations.

The ACMPR has four parts; part 1 is similar to Canada’s former MMPR framework which holds Licenced Producers responsible for the production and distribution of quality-controlled fresh or dried marijuana, cannabis oil or starting materials (seeds, clones) in secure and sanitary conditions. Part 2 is similar to Canada’s former MMAR framework, with provisions for individuals to produce a limited amount of cannabis for their own medical purposes or to designate someone to produce it for them. Parts 3 and 4 include transitional provisions relating to the continuation of MMPR activities by LPs. They also include amendments for other regulations that referenced the MMPR (ie. Narcotic Control Regulations, New Classes of Practitioners Regulations) to update definitions and to broaden the scope of products beyond just dried marijuana.

Health Canada has two main roles in administering the ACMPR: licencing and overseeing the commercial industry and registering individuals to produce a limited amount of cannabis for their own medical purposes (or designate someone to do it for them).