How to Buy Medical Marijuana in Canada

An Ontario Court of Appeal decision ruled that the banning of marijuana for medical purposes was unconstitutional in the year 2000. From then until now, there have been a lot of changes to the regulations that have controlled legal, medical cannabis use in Canada

Even with recreational weed having been legalized in 2018, there are still some benefits to being prescribed marijuana. 

Access to Medical Marijuana

There are a variety of ways that patients authorized by their health care provider can access marijuana for medical purposes. They can buy directly from a federally licensed seller, register with Health Canada to produce their own, designate someone to produce it for them, or buy from provincial or territorial authorized retail outlets and online sales platforms. 

Before any of this, though, you’ll need authorization. 

Getting a Medical Marijuana Authorization

Your first step is to meet with your health care provider to talk about your specific medical needs and to decide if medical cannabis is the correct medication for your ailment(s). Once your practitioner decides that cannabis is right for you, they will need to provide you with a medical document like this one from Health Canada. 

It’s worth noting that health practitioners are not required to authorize the use of cannabis if they do not believe it’s the right choice for you. What happens then?

The good news is that you can still get authorization by making an appointment with a medical cannabis clinic. Many of them do not require a referral from your family doctor.

Regardless of who issues your authorization, before sending you off to buy your weed, the medical professional should be having a conversation with you about dosage recommendations based on your particular condition and needs.

Once you have your authorization, it’s time to register with a licensed producer. 

Registering With a Licensed Producer

Registering with a licensed producer is quite simple once you have your authorization in hand. Typically, you will need to reach out to the producer or check their website for a registration form that is specific to them. Submit your medical document (authorization) and the registration form and you should be all set. 

It’s always a good idea to contact the licensed producer of your choice to be clear on their own specific registration requirements

Note that, in most cases, you are able to switch licensed producers ‌by getting yourself a copy of your authorization form, canceling with your current licensed provider, and following the above steps with your new producer of choice. 

Medical Marijuana Eligibility 

Eligibility for medical marijuana authorization is subjective and is going to depend heavily on your medical practitioner’s knowledge of the health benefits of marijuana. It will also depend on the comfortability of the healthcare professional, as cannabis is still a bit taboo and carries a stigma in some people’s minds. 

Here is an incomplete list of medical conditions that may make you eligible for authorization, as it’s possible that you will benefit from medical marijuana:

  • Crohn’s Disease
  • Depression
  • Eating Disorders
  • Epilepsy
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Gastrointestinal Disorders
  • Hepatitis C
  • HIV/AIDS
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome
  • Kidney Failure/Dialysis
  • Migraines
  • ADD/ADHD
  • Alzheimer’s Disease
  • Anxiety
  • Arthritis
  • Auto Accident(s)
  • Back & Neck Problems
  • Brain Injury
  • Cancer
  • Chronic Nausea
  • Chronic Pain
  • Colitis
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Muscle Spasms
  • Muscular Dystrophy
  • Parkinson’s Disease
  • Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
  • Severe Arthritis
  • Sexual Dysfunction
  • Sleep Disorders
  • Spinal Cord Injury/Disease

Benefits of Obtaining Medical Marijuana Authorization

There are several benefits to purchasing marijuana using medical authorization. We’ll discuss a couple of them.

First, your medical insurance may cover your marijuana. A number of insurance providers have added an option for employers to add medical marijuana coverage to their employee’s plans. If you are covered by any of the following providers, check your policy to see if your employer has chosen the option to include weed:

  • Alberta Blue Cross
  • The Co-operators Life Insurance Co,
  • Desjardins Insurance
  • Green Shield Canada
  • Great West Life
  • Markers Financial
  • Manulife
  • Medavie Blue Cross
  • SSQ Insurance
  • SunLife Financial

In addition to your marijuana possibly being covered by your drug plan, come tax time, you can also claim anything you spent on medical marijuana. According to the Canadian Revenue Agency (CRA) medical marijuana is listed as an eligible medical expense. So, if you have medical authorization, bought your weed from a licensed producer, and kept your receipts and paperwork, you can claim these expenses as deductions when you file your tax return. 

Bottom Line

As with any medication, there are risks to medical marijuana, so it’s important to have a thorough conversation with a medical professional before using weed to treat a medical condition. 

Acreage Pharms is here to help meet all of your recreational and medical marijuana needs. Reach out to our trusted staff today. 

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Before we can authorize a caregiver to be responsible for you as a substitute decision maker, they will need to fill out the Authorized Caregiver Form online or by downloading this PDF.