Future hazy for next Prairie Medicinal Harvest Cup

Organizers say they're sure the Prairie Medicinal Harvest Cup will continue despite new federal rules around growing medicinal marijuana, but it's not clear how they might change the competition.

New Health Canada laws around medicinal marijuana could change annual competition for growers

New Health Canada laws around medicinal marijuana could change annual competition for growers, Kathy Fitzpatrick reports 1:32

Saskatoon's third annual medical marijuana competition and trade show — known to some as the Cannabis Cup — could be the final one, after changes are made to federal medical marijuana rules. 

Beginning in April, Health Canada will no longer permit home-grown medicinal marijuana. 

That could put an end to varieties of the drug seen at the Prairie Medicinal Harvest Cup competition, developed by small independent growers from across western Canada, such as 'UK Cheese' and 'Jack's Cleaner 2', which will be at the competition. 

Marijuana grower and user Jeff Lundstrom is concerned it won't be the same from larger-scale commercial producers.

"Once you find a medicine that works good for you the thought of losing of that is fairly painful so, especially if you're in as much pain as I am," Lundstrom said. 

Lundstrom says small growers like himself don't have the money to go commercial.  And the new restriction could force the trade underground.

"You've got to remember, every person that doesn't have a legal license like to possess or to grow still has to obtain their cannabis through the normal means, which is a black market purchase," he said. 

Organizers of the Prairie Medicinal Harvest Cup say they're confident they will hold a competition again next year, but it's not clear how it will change in light of the new laws. 

Meanwhile, this year's competition runs October 4-6 in Saskatoon at the Odeon Events Centre. It includes strain judging for different types of marijuana, along with music and lectures. 

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