Article by David Brown, Lift
Health Canada has confirmed that they are accepting requests from individuals to import cannabis oil like Charlotte’s Web, if the Minister of Health deems it “necessary for medical or scientific purposes, or is otherwise in the public interest.”
Charlotte’s Web, a high CBD cannabis oil produced in the US, was in the news in Canada earlier this year when a shipment from the US was stopped at the border. The product was destined for four-year-old Kyla Williams, whose grandmother Elaine Nuessler, has been helping her access the imported oil for several years.
It’s been technically illegal to ship the product into Canada, but many Canadians, often caring for young children suffering from rare medical conditions like Dravet syndrome, have been accessing the American-made product for years.
From Health Canada:
“It is possible for an individual to contact Health Canada to request an exemption under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act (CDSA) to access a controlled substance, such as cannabis oil (including Charlotte’s Web), by importing it. Section 56 of the CDSA provides the Minister of Health with the authority to grant exemptions from the application of any provisions of the Act or its Regulations if, in the opinion of the Minister, the exemption is necessary for medical or scientific purposes, or is otherwise in the public interest.
“In Canada, under the Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations, Canadians are also able to access cannabis for medical purposes (including cannabis oil) with the authorization of their health care practitioner. As of August 2016, 13 licensed producers offer cannabis oil for sale produced according to strict quality and safety requirements, and many offer products with a high concentration of cannabidiol and low concentrations of tetrahydrocannabinol.
“All requests from individuals for an exemption under the CDSA are reviewed by Health Canada on a case-by-case basis. It is not Health Canada’s practice to comment on the status of these requests as they involve personal information that the Department must protect under the Privacy Act.”