Health Canada is easing its prohibitions against safety testing of medical marijuana, which will allow registered growers and patients to have the product scrutinized at federally certified laboratories to ensure it is safe.
The federal government plans to legalize marijuana for recreational use next year, and the move will give added protection in an unregulated market to consumers, many of whom worry that some marijuana being sold as medicine could contain harmful contaminants.
Hundreds of storefront dispensaries have sprung up across the country, particularly in Toronto and Vancouver. The government considers them illegal, and had no oversight of their products, leaving medical users with no way to ensure their safety. The government did not allow patients access to federal labs capable of detecting potentially harmful contaminants.