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Newshawk: Joe Adams
Pubdate: Fri, 21 Dec 2001
Source: Canadian Press (Canada Wire)
Copyright: 2001 The Canadian Press (CP)
Note: MAP has received word that the Canadian medical cannabis will exceed
6% - or about twice the THC as the cannabis that the U.S. government
supplies to it's five official patients.
Bookmark: (Cannabis - Medicinal - Canada)


OTTAWA ( CP ) - The first batch of federally approved medical marijuana is available for shipment, Health Canada said Friday.  "Marijuana from Prairie Plant Systems will be made available to researchers and patients who have received licences to possess," a department official said. 

The department signed a contract last year with Prairie Plant Systems to grow pot in an abandoned mine in Flin Flon, Man., as part of a government policy to make the drug available to Canadians for medical purposes. 

The contract required that the first supply be ready by Jan.  1, 2002 with a minimum THC level - the active ingredient in the plant - of five per cent. 

"This has been accomplished and a quality testing is complete," the official said. 

Health Canada will now contact some 680 patients approved to use medical marijuana to find out if they're interested in receiving some.  The department will begin distributing the product early in the new year.  A final decision on a distribution mechanism will be made once the Health Department gets patient feedback. 

Under rules governing medical marijuana use, patients can grow their own marijuana, have someone grow it for them or receive it through Health Canada. 

"Any distribution will have to ensure three things: privacy, security and reliability," the official said. 

An Environics poll in the fall suggested 86 per cent of Canadians support making marijuana available for medical purposes. 

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