Medical marijuana users can now possess the drug in forms other than dried leaves

Pot brownies, tea okay for approved users: court

Judge's ruling widens authorized medical possession of marijuana beyond just dried leaves

Medical marijuana users can legally eat pot brownies or drink THC tea rather than just smoke the drug, B.C. Supreme Court has ruled.

Justice Robert Johnston found Health Canada’s Medical Marijuana Access Regulations unreasonably limited users to possessing only the dried form of pot.

The judge ruled users should be able to choose “how to ingest the medicinal ingredients in the safest and most effective manner” and that the rules are unconstitutional.

The decision is part of a marijuana trafficking case against Victoria man Owen Smith, the hired baker of the Cannabis Buyers’ Club of Canada, who turned marijuana into cookies, oils, capsules and ointments for the club’s 3,700 members.

Defence lawyers argued the dried-only rule forces people to smoke to get the medical benefit, adding that’s more unhealthy than eating it or applying it topically.

The court heard evidence that orally consumed marijuana may deliver the therapeutic benefit more directly for gastrointestinal conditions and that oral ingestion prolongs the effects, which is important for those with chronic pain or glaucoma.

Crown prosecutors argued the rule allowing medical users possession of dried pot only helps police or regulators easily determine if a user is exceeding the possession limit, which would be more complex if a user instead had marijuana cookies or cannabis butter.

“I conclude that this restriction is arbitrary,” Johnston ruled. “I am not prepared to infer that it is necessary to restrict medical marijuana to its dried form in order to make enforcement of the drug laws possible.”

The decision was a ruling on part of the evidence in the case against Smith, which is still slated to go to trial because he may have provided pot products to non-authorized users.

It’s not clear whether the ruling will take effect immediately or if Crown will appeal.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Gaps in the system: Youth cope with homelessness in Greater Victoria

Four-part series will look at youth homelessness in the region

Museum asks British Columbians for COVID-19 nature observations

Royal BC Museum collects information as part of ongoing pandemic project

Oak Bay pool to reopen Aug. 17

Swimming, other activities return this month

Island riders conquering new heights

With no races, cyclists tackle Everest challenge to lift community

Saanich police search for suspect accused of using stolen credit, debit cards

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers says suspect made numerous fraudulent purchases

53 new COVID-19 cases, no new deaths cap off week of high infection rates in B.C.

Roughly 1,500 people are self-isolating because they either have COVID-19 or have been exposed to it

Missing teen visiting Courtenay found safe

She had last been seen going for a walk on Aug. 6

Moving on: Tanev scores 11 seconds into OT as Canucks oust Wild

Vancouver beats Minnesota 5-4 to move into first round of NHL playoffs

Fitness non-profit challenges citizens to invent a game to be physically active

The campaign was launched after a study showed only 4.8 per cent of children and youths in Canada met required standards of the 24-hour movement guidelines

Gene editing debate takes root with organic broccoli, new UBC research shows

Broccoli is one of the best-known vegetables with origins in this scientific haze

VIDEO: U.S. Air Force pilot does fly-by for B.C. son amid COVID border separation

Sky-high father-son visit plays out over White Rock Pier

3 Vancouver police officers test positive for COVID after responding to large party

Union president says other officers are self-isolating due to possible exposure

Vancouver Island team takes on wacky challenges of world’s largest scavenger hunt

Greatest International Scavenger Hunt taking place Aug. 1-8

New mothers with COVID-19 should still breastfeed: Canada’s top doctor

Dr. Theresa Tam made the recommendation during World Breastfeeding Awareness Week

Most Read