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Canada Amends Special Access to Psychedelics

The article Canada Amends Special Access to Psychedelics was originally published on Microdose.

It took me a few minutes to get my head around the legal…



The article Canada Amends Special Access to Psychedelics was originally published on Microdose.

It took me a few minutes to get my head around the legal jargon — and I could have used one of those “universal translators” they use in Star Trek to translate alien languages — but from what I can decipher the changes to Canada’s Special Access Program (SAP) are officially official.

As we reported recently, the Canadian government was supposedly going to amend access to the SAP (see below for a quick note about the SAP):

Part C of the Food and Drug Regulations allow the Minister of Health to issue a letter of authorization to allow the sale of an unapproved drug from a manufacturer to a practitioner for the emergency treatment of a patient under certain circumstances. Through the Special Access Program, practitioners may request access to drugs that are not available in Canada for treating their patients with serious or life-threatening conditions when conventional treatments have failed, are unsuitable or unavailable.

And today we received the official notice from the government, announcing the amendments. See official release here: Regulations Amending Certain Regulations Relating to Restricted Drugs (Special Access Program)

There were several changes to the handling of restricted drugs, many of the amendments to more conservative rules implemented under Conservative governments.

Here are some highlights that affect access to psychedelics (taken from the official release):

Restoring potential access to restricted drugs through the Special Access Program: The amendments repeal the provisions in Part C of the Food and Drug Regulations that prohibit the authorization of the sale or importation of a restricted drug for the purposes of the Special Access Program. These amendments allow Health Canada the discretion to authorize the sale of restricted drugs for the purposes of emergency treatment through the Special Access Program, provided the application submitted by the practitioner meets all applicable requirements.


Canada SAP

This is the big news. The government has officially repealed restrictions prohibiting the sale of illegal compounds, opening up the SAP to allow psychedelics, on a case-by-case basis, to be sold to approved doctors/therapists/pharmacists for patients in need.

This doesn’t open the flood gates, patients will still need individual approval, but it removes legal restrictions and shows more evidence of the federal government recognizing the potential healing power of psychedelics.

Another interesting development is the government’s publication of its public consultation on the amendments.

“The outcomes of this consultation suggested there is strong public interest in the use of psychedelic restricted drugs for therapeutic purposes.”

“Overall, nearly all comments were supportive of the proposed regulatory amendments and/or increasing access to psychedelic substances more broadly. The Department received very little opposition to the proposal, making up less than 2% of all responses.”

“Over 80% of all respondents associated Health Canada’s proposal with increasing access to psychedelic restricted drugs (e.g. MDMA, psilocybin, LSD, DMT), often for the treatment of various conditions, most notably mental health disorders.”

This is big news for those looking for tools in the battle with mental health. 


Interested in more like this? See Canada Grants 3 Patients Exemption to Use Psilocybin for Mental Health

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