The ACMPR has been in full effect since 2016. Even so, there are tons of Canadian medical marijuana patients still growing their cannabis under the MMPR and MMAR programs.
This is because the government has allowed many growers to keep their old licences that were issued before the ACMPR. The purpose of this was to make things easier on medical patients in need of homegrown cannabis.
But does it really make things easier? And more importantly, is keeping a grow license with an outdated program a good idea?
The short answer is no. Below you will read about why you should switch out the old for the new with an ACMPR license to grow.
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Marihuana for Medical Purposes Regulations (MMPR) was Officially Repealed in 2016
Before the Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations (ACMPR) got its start in 2016, there was the Marijuana for Medical Purposes Regulations.
This medical cannabis licensing program took away the option to grow all together, which is why so many Canadians were in an uproar over the new laws.
Growers around the country were doing whatever they could to get the program repealed ASAP.
This is exactly what happened after the Allard v. Canada court case.
In this case, four residents of BC fought the government, claiming that they couldn’t afford to buy their medical cannabis from licensed producers.
In the end, the BC residents won, giving weed-growing freedom back to Canadians.
The Marihuana for Medical Purposes Regulations was officially replaced by the ACMPR in 2016.
Your Marihuana Medical Access Regulations (MMAR) License Might Not Be Valid Anymore
Before the MMPR came into play, the MMAR was in place to regulate home growing. Unlike the program that came after, the MMAR did allow growing.
Even though the government still allows MMAR growers to keep their licenses, many of these licenses have become invalid for one reason or another.
You might even have an invalid license and not even know it. If this is the case, you’re technically running an illegal grow op.
Why Switch from the MMPR in Canada to the ACMPR
We’ve already covered the main reason for switching from the MMPR in Canada to the ACMPR. The older programs are outdated, maybe even causing growers to have invalid licenses to grow.
Let’s dig even deeper than that. Possessing an outdated grow license is not the best decision, but why make the switch to ACMPR?
Change of Personal Details
Although the government has allowed growers to keep growing under their old licenses, they have added a ton of Health Canada restrictions on this.
If a grower is licensed under an old program and has a change in address, contact details, or any other personal details, the grow license automatically becomes invalid.
If anything has changed from the time the license was issued, that license is now invalid. In this case, you MUST apply for a new one, and new grow applications all fall under the ACMPR.
Change of Plant Counts and Grow Op Details
It’s obvious that a license becomes invalid with a change of address, but it also becomes invalid when anything is altered with the grow op.
This means growers aren’t able to increase their plant counts (which you can read more about here), switch from indoors or outdoors, or change any other grow op details without applying for a new license.
Let’s say a grower only has 7g per day license to grow under an old program. 7 grams per day prescribed by a doctor allows for a small number of plants (35 for indoor and 14 for outdoor).
35 indoor plants might seem like plenty at first, but many growers decide to increase the number with a higher prescription amount.
Here at CGC, we see a lot of growers start small with 7g/day grow licenses, only to bump it up to 95g/day licenses the following year.
Anyone with an old license won’t be able to do this without applying to grow through Health Canada’s ACMPR.
This also applies if a grower wants to take advantage of warm weather seasons and grow plants outdoors. It’s not possible to switch from an indoor to outdoor grow op without first applying for a new license.
All in all, changing ANYTHING-even a minor detail – about a personal grow operation requires a new license.
More Risk of Legal Troubles with the MMPR
One of the main reasons for medical growers to get a grow license with the MMPR or ACMPR is to avoid run-ins with the law. As growers, we all know that getting caught with hundreds of homegrown cannabis plants is a possibility.
There’s always a risk of a snoopy neighbor calling bylaw, complaining of that skunky smell radiating from the house next door.
Luckily with a license to grow, the authorities can’t do much about finding dozens, even hundreds of plants. As long as the grower has stayed within the license restrictions, all is good.
But what happens when a young police officer knocks on your door to inquire about the 300 plants in your basement? You hand over your official grow license, and the officer examines it closely.
Even if the officer is up to date on the medical weed laws, to him “up to date” could mean he is only familiar with the ACMPR.
Maybe he has never even heard of a medical growing program other than the ACMPR. To him, that Health Canada registration form you just handed overlooks like a phony license to grow.
The officer won’t hesitate to confiscate your plants and grow equipment in a situation like this. Of course, you’ll be able to fight it in court, but that doesn’t help the fact that your precious medical plants are gone.
All this could be avoided by switching to the current government program, one that all government officials and law enforcement agents are familiar with.
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How to Make the Switch in 4 Easy Steps
Now that we’ve covered why all growers should switch to the ACMPR, it’s time to talk about how. At Cannabis Growing Canada, we’ve made it possible to make the transition in 4 easy steps.
Step 1: Contact Us
Step 1 is easy enough. Simply contact CGC to let us know you’re interested in making the switch and hope to receive your license to grow under the ACMPR.
Step 2: Receive a New Prescription
Even if you are already licensed under the MMPR, you MUST receive a new medical document from a doctor. Don’t worry, we’ve made this as easy as possible.
No matter if your previous license was for a mere 7 grams per day, our doctors are willing to offer patients prescriptions for up to 95 grams per day.
Chatting with the doctor takes about 5 minutes and it can be done from a smartphone or laptop. We’ve made it easier than ever to schedule appointments with our online booking system.
Step 3: Mail the ACMPR Application
Next, you need to fill out the official ACMPR paperwork to get your license switched over. To some people, this is the worst part of the process. With our help, it shouldn’t be too unbearable.
Then just mail the forms along with the medical document to Health Canada. You’ll still be able to grow under your old license as long as it has remained valid over the years.
Just remember that if you applied for a higher plant count with the ACMPR, you still need to abide by your old license.
Until the new ACMPR registration arrives in the mail, make sure you’re remaining true to whatever is stated on your current forms.
Step 4: ACMPR Registration is Complete
This last step is the best part – you’re now legal to grow under the official ACMPR program. You no longer have to worry about the risks that come along with growing under an outdated government program.
The registration form you receive in the mail is similar to a medical marijuana card, allowing you to legally grow up to 487 indoor plants.
Has Anyone Ever Been Turned Down for an ACMPR License to Grow?
You might be wondering, What happens if I get turned down for my ACMPR license? This worry is actually what keeps a lot of growers from transferring their licenses to the ACMPR.
In our experience, we have had a 100% success rate. You need to remember that Health Canada is not determining whether or not to grant you a license. They are merely registering you for one.
Of course, it is still essential to correctly fill out the application forms and provide the proper medical documentation. With our help, this will be no problem at all.
Our 100% success rate applies to everyone, not just beginner growers registering with Health Canada for the first time.
It also applies to seasoned growers still possessing an MMPR license and making the switch to the ACMPR.