Obtaining a Medical Marijuana Card in Canada

Throughout the last decade, the number of Canadians with medical access to marijuana jumped by about 30%. Physicians in Canada can recommend cannabis to help manage health concerns ranging from migraines, to anxiety, to the pain associated with arthritis or cancer. 

How exactly does someone obtain a medical marijuana card in Canada, though?

Marijuana Cards in Canada

It’s worth noting here that marijuana cards in Canada aren’t what you’re thinking. Authorization from a physician comes in the form of a signed document—it’s not really a card like a driver’s license or a Costco card with your picture, signature, or personal info on it like you may have envisioned. Your authorization form might actually look a little something like this one, from Health Canada’s website. 

Who Can Get a Medical Marijuana Card?

In order to get a medical marijuana “card” you will need to be experiencing a qualifying medical condition. The good news is that there is no real definition of what medical conditions qualify as the list of conditions that weed appears to be helpful for continues to grow every single day. 

Qualifying conditions may include (but are certainly not limited to):

  • Chronic pain
  • Anxiety
  • Sleep disorders
  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)
  • Cancer
  • Arthritis
  • Epilepsy
  • Multiple sclerosis and muscle spasms.
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • ADD/ADHD

The decision about whether your medical conditions qualify you for a medical marijuana “card” is between you and your doctor (or nurse practitioner). If you feel as if you are not being heard or your input is not being taken seriously by your healthcare provider, there are other options as we’ll discuss shortly. 

Who Can Give You a Medical Marijuana Card?

If you’re comfortable with it, one of the quickest and easiest ways to get a medical marijuana “card” in Canada is to ask your doctor. Nurse practitioners can now give medical marijuana authorization as well, so there are more options than ever. 

It makes sense why some people are uncomfortable asking their doctor, though—it can feel like you’re doing something wrong. If you’re feeling like this, you are most certainly not alone. It might be comforting to know that it’s actually incredibly common to feel this way, because many of us grew up in a world where we never would have imagined talking to our doctors about weed as a treatment for our medical conditions. The idea is somewhat foreign to many of us.  

If your doctor or nurse practitioner will not prescribe pot, or if you’re just not comfortable asking, you could always check out one of the many online medical marijuana clinics in Canada. With a quick Google search you will have plenty of options to choose from. They will likely ask you for the reason why you believe you need access to medical marijuana, so be ready with documentation to provide to your doctor during your appointment. 

Why Get Authorization When Weed is Legal?

You know, this is a really good question. We believe that the biggest reason to get yourself a medical marijuana authorization is to be able to purchase weed using your company’s health insurance. It’s becoming more and more common for health insurance companies to offer packages that include medical marijuana. Go check your insurance documentation to see if you already have coverage and if you don’t, maybe it’s time to rally the troops (your coworkers) and approach your boss about adding weed coverage to your plan!

If your company has insurance through 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, or SunLife Financial, then the option to add pot to your coverage is already available to you.

I Have a Medical Marijuana Card, Now What?

Congratulations! Once you have your medical marijuana authorization, you’ll have to find yourself a licensed producer (LP) and then register with them by (a) presenting your authorization, and (b) filling out their registration form. Once that’s done, you should be all set. 

Conclusion

As you can see, obtaining a medical marijuana “card” in Canada is actually quite simple so long as you and your health care provider are comfortable talking about weed and are on the same page. Once that happens, it’s as simple as writing your name, address, and health conditions on a document. 

Get yourself authorized and reach out to our team at Acreage Pharms for all of your medical marijuana needs. 

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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.