A License to Grow a Landmark Amount of Weed

A BC resident has received a Health Canada licence to possess 60 grams of marijuana for daily medical use, allowing him to legally grow as many as 292 marijuana plants, wrote The Globe and Mail Dec. 29.

The licence provides for possibly the largest quantity ever to be legalized in Canada, say lawyers in Vancouver and Toronto who have been involved in high-profile marijuana-related court cases. “It’s a large amount. Nobody, not even Sir Walter Raleigh, could smoke 60 marijuana cigarettes a day,” Alan Young, a professor at York’s Osgoode Hall Law School, said yesterday in an interview.

However, Sam Mellace is not smoking joints. He has a liver disorder and chronic pain from injuries he received in a car accident. He uses the plant to make skin creams and butter for baked goods. “I do not smoke it. I need that much marijuana to create the cream and butter for myself,” Mellace said in an interview. Young said surveys have shown that most medical marijuana users have not signed up for the federal program and most of those with federal licences are not buying the product from the government. Health Canada is spending a lot of money on a program that does not work, he said. “It’s dysfunctional. It causes enormous problems and headaches across the country,” he said.

Young has represented numerous medicinal marijuana users charged with possessing the drug and has also successfully challenged federal marijuana regulations in court, forcing the government to revise them. He is working with Mellace to develop a proposed pilot project for Health Canada that would allow Mellace to sell his creams and butter to other medical marijuana users. Mellace said he could provide products for most licensed users. He would like his company, New Age Medical Solutions Inc., to become the first legal private-sector source in Canada for medicinal marijuana.

Health Canada was approached with the idea of a new source of marijuana in early December. “We had discussions on whether they would keep an open mind and consider some of the options and alternatives we are presenting. The good news is, they clearly expressed an interest in our ideas and a willingness to keep an open mind. So now I am preparing proposals for them to review to see if this is a direction they might want to go in,” Young said.

A licensed BC pot grower was in Toronto Monday trying to take a bite out of Health Canada’s monopoly on medicinal marijuana, wrote the St. Catharines Standard Dec. 29.

Sam Mellace, 56, formerly of Toronto, is allowed to grow 292 plants, which he does in a Miracle Valley, BC “industrial-style” operation that yields about seven kilos of marijuana every four to six weeks.

He was at York University to meet with Alan Young, professor at Osgoode Hall Law School, as part of a plan to grow and sell the drug directly to prescription holders. The Federal Court of Canada recently ruled the government cannot rely solely on the monopoly it created for the distribution of medicinal marijuana, Young said. “At this time we are in discussions with Health Canada,” Young said. “I represent sick people who need the drugs because a monopoly doesn’t work.” The growing of marijuana won’t attract organized crime, he said.



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