The Complete Guide For Medical Marijuana in Canada

Legalization of marijuana continues to be a controversial topic worldwide. Some nations allow citizens to smoke marijuana for recreational purposes, some only allow it to be used for medicinal reasons, and some countries continue to outlaw it completely. In Canada, the growth and sale of marijuana is still regulated, but it is available for people who need to use the plant to treat certain medical issues. However, there are strict regulations on medical marijuana, so it is not extremely simple to get it.


The Legality of Marijuana in Canada

The history of marijuana in the nation of California dates back to 1923, when marijuana was added to the Confidential Restricted List in the Narcotics Drug Act Amendment Bill. It remained mostly illegal for decades, though only 2 percent of all drug arrests in Canada were due to marijuana possession. In July of 2001, after decades of illegality, the Marihuana Medical Access Regulations (MMAR) allowed people to use marijuana for medicinal purposes. However, there were some concerns that the MMAR were too vague and allowed too many people to abuse marijuana. Therefore, a new set of regulations, the Marihuana for Medical Purposes Regulations (MMPR) was enacted in July of 2013. These regulations set up a controlled, commercial industry that provided regulated access to marijuana for people need to use it for medical reasons. These regulations remain active today, and they set up the basis for the legal medical cannabis industry in Canada. For a long time, Canadian laws about marijuana only allowed patients to use dried marijuana, but the Supreme Court of Canada ruled in 2015 that patients could also buy teas, oils, and edibles from suppliers.


The Regulations on Medical Marijuana in Canada

According to the MMPR, the only people who can produce medical cannabis are licensed providers who belong in the government’s database. These producers undergo a strict application process before they are allowed to provide marijuana to those with a prescription. If a person was previously authorized to possess and produce their own marijuana by the MMAR regulations, they are allowed to continue doing so under a grandfather clause. After a patient gets a medical cannabis prescription from their doctor, they can register with one of the licensed providers from the database and obtain marijuana products for their healthcare needs. At any time, patients can possess 20 times the amount recommended by their doctor, as long as the amount is under 150 grams. Patients who legally get marijuana in Canada typically cannot share their marijuana with others, grow their own marijuana, or make their own oil from marijuana.


How Canadians Get Marijuana

In order to get marijuana for medicinal purposes, a person must show one of the 33 licensed producers in Canada an original medical document by a healthcare practitioner and fill out a registration form. Once the patient is registered as a client at one of the licensed producers, they can have marijuana shipped directly to them from the dispensary. This helps patients to get quality-controlled marijuana even if they live far away from the nearest medical marijuana provider. If they come into contact with a law enforcement official, they can show proof that the marijuana is used for medical purposes. There are many different reasons that a patient may use marijuana, and no doctor has ever been prosecuted in court for filling out a prescription. In general, most marijuana use is prescribed for patients with epileptic seizures, patients dealing with pain from arthritis, a chronic illness, or multiple sclerosis, patients with a lack of appetite due to cancer, anorexia, or HIV/AIDS, and patients with spinal cord injuries. However, marijuana may also be prescribed for patients who have any other debilitating medical condition that might reasonably be aided by marijuana. This can include anything from Alzheimer’s disease to sexual dysfunction. Typically, doctors will start by prescribing their patients a low dosage and then gradually increase the amount of patients show signs of improvement. Read More …

Learn about Medical Marijuana

Medical marijuana requires a prescription and is a strain of marijuana used to treat the pain and inflammation of many diseases and disorders including, cancer, arthritis, auto-immune disorders and more. Marijuana derives from the Cannabis Sativa plant, the same species of which hemp derives. There are many differences between hemp and marijuana, but the most notable is that hemp as less than .3% THC or tetrahydrocannabinol whereas marijuana has between .5 and 30% depending on the strain. THC is the cannabinoid which gives marijuana its psychoactive qualities or the euphoric high.

Medical cannabis, both hemp and marijuana work with the body’s endocannabinoid system or ECS on a cellular level signaling C1 and C2 receptors to turn off the acid causing pain and inflammation.

Medical marijuana is legal throughout Canada but must be obtained with a prescription. It is estimated there are over 420,000 Canadians using medical marijuana. There are many qualified medical marijuana doctors. Though cannabis treatment is an emerging and important field of medicine, some physicians are hesitant to add marijuana treatment to their practice because of the ongoing legal controversies. Medical marijuana doctors have stringent guidelines limiting their ability to treat patients.

One such provision is the requirement that other traditional treatments must fail first. Frustration is present since cannabis is often the preferred way to address many conditions because of its relatively low incidents of adverse side- effects when to compared to prescription drugs.

Much of the legal controversy surrounding marijuana lies with the issue of the dispensary. There are hundreds of cannabis dispensaries throughout Canada with dozens more planned, especially in the major metropolitan areas such as Toronto.

Dispensaries are a favorable option for patients when compared to online shopping. The dispensaries are licensed by the city and are usually monitored for quality and legal compliance. It gives a patient the opportunity to ask questions face to face and see the product before purchasing.

Opponents of the dispensaries argue that they are technically illegal. The established law, MMPR allows confirmed patients, of which there are about 80,000 to obtain their product by mail. Recently a law (MMAR) was passed allowing about 30,000 of these patients to grow their own medical marijuana. Many of those patients do not have the space or physical ability to cultivate the plants. The proxy growers can produce much more product than needed, and the surplus ends up at the dispensaries.

With more research and scientific evidence continuously presented the legal argument may eventually come to an end. Health Minister Jane Philpott has announced legislation to legalize marijuana outright will be introduced in the spring of 2017. In addition to the research, the bill will be supported by a regulation and safety task force as well as heartfelt testimony from patients. Read More …