Since the implementation of the Marihuana Medical Access Regulations in 2001, Canadians have been able to access dried marihuana for medical purposes if authorized by Health Canada. The use and cultivation of medical marihuana is regulated under two federal Acts: the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act, and the Food and Drugs Act.
A new system came into effect on April 1, 2014, whereby:
- Cultivation and distribution of dried marihuana for medical purposes will no longer be permitted by individuals in dwellings, or outdoors (although the federal government has permitted individuals to continue using existing authorized marihuana supply; 87 authorizations were previously issued for Brampton)
- Legal production of medical marihuana will only occur indoors in licensed commercial production facilities
- Prospective producers must notify the local municipality (i.e., City Clerk's Office), local fire service and local police service of their intentions
- Health Canada has removed itself from the supply chain meaning it will no longer produce, or supply, marihuana for medical purposes nor issue authorizations for use, which will become the jurisdiction of authorized health care practitioners
- Health Canada acts as a regulator, administering federal regulations and licensing production and distribution facilities, with enforcement by Health Canada Inspectors
Health Canada communicates regularly with the City of Brampton to confirm notifications for new production facilities are received by the municipality. Property notifications are vetted through the Building Division to ensure zoning compliance. The nature of the land use would generally confine such facilities to industrial zoned areas of the City.
Notifications received by the municipality for medical marihuana production facilities are provided to the Building Division for zoning compliance review, and in accordance with applicable building permit processes. The City Clerk's Office will also notify the Mayor's Office and the affected Ward Councillors based on the proposed facility property address. Any known change in Health Canada's licensing status for such properties will also be communicated, as the City is notified.
Separate from the issue of the commercial production of medical marihuana, the City of Brampton continues to work closely with other law enforcement authories through a protocol to ensure illegal marihuana 'grow-ops' dismantled by police services are addressed, and remediated, in accordance with applicable law and City policy.