Medical marijuana suit over alleged federal privacy issue certified

A bag of marijuana is held up at a medical marijuana dispensary in Vancouver on Friday May 1, 2015 THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

HALIFAX – The Federal Court of Canada has certified a class action started on behalf of medical marijuana licensees alleging that Health Canada violated their privacy.

The plaintiffs allege in a news release that Health Canada sent notices to over 40,000 participants of the Marihuana Medical Access Program advising them of changes to regulations governing the use of medical marijuana.

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They say the envelopes sent in November 2013 made clear they were sent by the program, and therefore failed to protect the identity of the recipients.

The plaintiffs are seeking damages for breach of contract, breach of confidence, invasion of privacy and Charter violations.

The allegations haven’t been proven in court.

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The federal government has 30 days to appeal the decision.

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