How to Get Legal Cannabis in Canada – 3 Easy Steps
Getting a prescription for medical cannabis may seem like a daunting task, with many patients feeling they will be discriminated against in some way. The only way to obtain cannabis legally in Canada is through a licensed physician, according to the Canadian ACMPR (Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations). These regulations were intended to empower the individual seeking medical cannabis and they also promote the decision of using medical cannabis being placed into the hands of an individual and their physician.
1. Talk to Your Doctor
The first step for an individual is to book an appointment with a physician in order to discuss the benefits medical cannabis may have over pharmaceutical narcotics. Physicians are located throughout Canada, and in some provinces, nurse practitioners are also able to prescribe medicinal cannabis. In order to prepare for the appointment, the patient may do their own research into the medicinal properties of cannabis and how it may affect their medical condition. At this appointment, the patient will bring any documentation, such as past prescriptions for medication (such as codeine or zopiclone, to name a few), x-rays, or a psychological evaluation in order to justify the use of medical cannabis.
If a physician is not comfortable for knoweldgable enough to prescribe medical cannabis, they can refer you to a cannabis specialized physician. (Alternatively you can go directly to such clinics with any supporting documentation.) Most intermediary clinics can help prepare a personalized patient plan and provide the right dosage and products for you. Note that some clinics provide telemedicine options for your convenience.
The Hempster staff I canvassed have had great experience creating personalized treatment plans with CannaConnect and Natural Care Group, both of which have great patient care staff and telemedicine options. They handle all forms and help find the right products suited for you.
2. Fill out your Forms
A primary physician or a medical cannabis clinic physician will fill out a medical cannabis prescription for the patient and the patient will register with a licensed producer (LP). Each prescription provides a maximum prescription amount, as well as maximum THC doses, if applicable. Generally, there is very little to do from the patient’s perspective at this stage.
3. Choose the Right LP or LPs
A patient has the right to choose whichever producer they feel is appropriate, but many physicians in Canada will recommend certain producers for appropriate product or shopping around to find the best product, pricing, and availability, depending on your specific needs. You have the right to split your script between different producers. Once one or more licensed producers have been chosen, the individual will place an order, by telephone or online, and upon receiving their medical cannabis by mail, they will also receive some form of Medical Marijuana Identity card. These licensed producers of medical cannabis are located throughout Canada and at this point in time, there are over 60 within the country.
The medical cannabis will be packaged and labelled with the exact percentages of THC or CDB, with many licensed producers providing smell-proof bags and/or containers for medical cannabis. A licensed producer cannot sell medical cannabis within a storefront dispensary. All products are currently delivered by secure mail.
What To Expect?
Legal cannabis from licensed producers within Canada is highly regulated, with strict standards for production, quality control, labelling, and packaging. An example of the regulations surrounding medical cannabis production is how, and who the plant is grown by. Only highly trained growers are employed within the legal industry, and this reflects on the high quality of medical cannabis within Canada. Quality control extends to the number of cannabinoids within every plant (such as percentages of CBD and THC), as well as monitoring and testing to ensure that there are no toxins, metals, or even mold within your medicine. Labelling will ensure the correct strain and amount, and even the dosage can be applied to the label. Packaging for medical cannabis within Canada must be child proof and licensed producers are also subject to regulations within patient care which are advised on by Canada’s leading medical cannabis experts.
In order to be free from worry carrying medical cannabis, it is important for an individual to recognize a few key regulations and laws. An individual who is a medical cannabis patient in Canada can carry a maximum of up to 150 grams of dried cannabis with a valid prescription. The actual amount of medical cannabis able to be possessed by a patient will vary entirely on the individual’s prescription.
It is stated within the ACMPR that an individual can carry up to 30 times their daily amount (stated on a prescription) of medical cannabis. For example, if a patient was prescribed 2 grams of cannabis per day, then they will be able to possess 60 grams of cannabis from a licensed producer. As long as your medicinal cannabis is kept in it’s packaging from a licensed producer and your medical marijuana identity card is on your person, you may also travel within Canada (including by air) with medical cannabis.