Medical marijuana definition ruling due today from Supreme Court of Canada

The Supreme Court of Canada is due to rule today on the exact definition of medical marijuana — and whether users have a right to products such as cookies, brownies, tea, lotions and oils.

Medical marijuana users can legally only smoke dried cannabis

Owen Smith was caught baking more than 200 pot cookies for the Victoria Cannabis Buyers Club in 2009. (CHEK)

UPDATED STORY: Medical marijuana patients will now be able to consume marijuana as well use other extracts and derivatives, the Supreme Court of Canada said today. Read more about the Supreme Court ruling

Currently, federal regulations stipulate that authorized users of physician-prescribed cannabis can only consume dried marijuana. Any other form of consumption other than smoking the dried plant buds can trigger criminal trafficking and narcotics possession charges under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act.

The case dates to 2009, when police found more than 200 pot cookies and cannabis-infused olive oil and grapeseed oil in the Victoria apartment of Owen Smith. The former head baker for the Cannabis Buyers Club of Canada was charged with possession for the purpose of trafficking and unlawful possession of marijuana. 

Smith was acquitted by a British Columbia judge, who gave the federal government a year to change the laws around extracts.

The B.C. Court of Appeal also ruled in Smith's favour, leading the federal government to take the case to Canada's top court.

The federal government has passed new medical marijuana laws since the case began, but Smith's lawyer, Kirk Tousaw, said the new rules repeat the same ban on edibles and derivatives.

The ruling is expected to be released at 9:45 a.m. ET in Ottawa.


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