Marijuana big business: legalization bridges divides between business and consumer
Below you will find a step by step process explaining how to get a medical marijuana card in Canada. It’s not a complicated process, if you follow the steps, you will get your authorization to purchase medical marijuana directly from health Canada’s licensed producers.
The first step to being approved and receiving medical marijuana (mmj) is making sure you are eligible as a patient. For more details on the benefits of medical marijuana and what types of ailments and chronic diseases medical cannabis can help to treat, be sure to check Canabuzz’s Are You Eligible? After you have established that your specific symptoms and/or conditions are considered treatable by medical marijuana, you will want to go ahead and schedule an eligibility assessment or consultation session with a healthcare practitioner.
But who is considered an authorized healthcare practitioner? According to Marihuana for Medical Purposes Regulations (MMPR), doctors in all provinces and territories can grant approval for medical marijuana treatment, while nurse practitioners are able to provide medicinal marijuana access only in the territories and provinces where “supporting dried marijuana for medical purposes is permitted under their scope of practice.”
Before you meet with your doctor or nurse practitioner, prepare the following:
#1 List out all of your symptoms that are treatable by marijuana. For each symptom be sure to clearly explain it in detail and cite specifically why or how marijuana can help.
#2 If you do currently use marijuana, then document the amount you use in grams, the frequency with which you already use marijuana, your method(s) of use, and how your marijuana use has affected your symptoms (to what benefit).
If you do not currently use marijuana, it is even more important that you are prepared with facts and information on how medicinal cannabis will to some degree alleviate or help to relieve your symptoms. You might find it useful to query other patients for advice or seek out testimonies made by medical marijuana patients who have successfully treated their symptoms with cannabis. You can also gather information from written or online sources and research.
#3 Compile a list of the different kinds of treatment(s) you have tried besides medicinal marijuana, and note specifically how they have (or have not) been helpful.
Medicinal marijuana regulation have become even more controversial of late, featured in both Canadian and world news reports as more countries, states, territories and provinces adopt liberalized legislation around medical marijuana and legalized cannabis. However, Conservatives continue to question the effectiveness of cannabis, even its safety. They portray the green herb as a drug on par with narcotics, frequently citing its alleged “addiction potential,” and from soapboxes call out marijuana’s old stigma as a gateway drug.
If your health practitioner is at all hesitant to provide you with a medicinal cannabis prescription, don’t be surprised. It is not unreasonable, given the political climate and media hype, that he or she feels less than comfortable or apprehensive about any potential liabilities. One way to make your health practitioner more comfortable prescribing medicinal cannabis is by signing a liability release form (http://www.themarijuanamission.com/pdfs/release_form_med_practitioners.pdf) developed and provided by the Canadian Medical Protective Association.
Medical marijuana cards and documentation permitting medicinal cannabis use should be available for those patients in need, for those who are suffering and those who believe that medical marijuana might hold the potential for relief or healing. If you still encounter difficulty from your doctor, because he or she still feels pressure, or is unwilling, or for any other reason, then try contacting one of the Canadian medical clinics that assists patients in assessing their eligibility for medical marijuana under Marijuana for Medical Purposes Regulations (MMPR). Here is a list of a few of those clinics:
1239 Rue Amherst
Canadian Cannabis Clinics
80 King Street, Unit 2
St. Catharines, Ontario
Medical Marijuana Clinics of Canada
121 Danforth Avenue
Greenleaf Medical Clinic
101 – 2296 McCallum Road
However, if your need for medical cannabis is legitimate, hopefully your healthcare practitioner is willing and able to assist you. Approval under MMPR by Health Canada requires you to obtain and complete a medical document with the following information, signed and dated by your doctor: your full legal name, birthdate, location of consultation, quantity of dried marijuana (in grams) that you are permitted to use per day (over a specific time period); your doctor must also provide complete professional contact and licensing information, as well as attest to the accuracy and completeness of all information given.
After obtaining a medical document of approval from your doctor, you can register as a client with any of the licensed commercial producers of medical marijuana in Canada under MMPR. To properly register, submit required information specified by that licensed producer in addition to your medical document (application requirements may vary slightly by licensed producer).
Once you have registered with a licensed producer of medical marijuana, as their client you may order and have medical marijuana directly shipped to your address.
If you already have your ATP issued under Marihuana Medical Access Regulations (MMAR), you may use your ATP to register with a licensed producer (until that ATP has expired). After March 31, 2015 ATPs will no longer be accepted, at which point you will need to follow the standard approval and registration procedure under MMPR (outlined above).
Short History of Medical Marijuana Cards in North America
Medical marijuana states in the U.S. are up to 23 total. And where marijuana is fully legalized, in states such as Colorado, Washington, Oregon and Alaska, there are complex yet smoothly run state-wide schemas which elaborately track and log cannabis by plant, patient, commercial grower and retail establishments (storefront and retail distribution are still illegal in Canada). Many states employ use of a medical marijuana card that, with a doctor’s permission, allows patients to purchase, possess, and cultivate cannabis. Medical marijuana cards are government-issued identification, by which medicinal cannabis use can be further tracked and tightly regulated.
State-run models are provocative in that they can shift public perception of marijuana for the better. As case studies, they have demonstrated the reality of economic gains for state and municipal governments, positive health benefits for patients, and a decreased strain on taxpayers and police—otherwise occupied by petty or small-time drug crime. The evident positives of marijuana legalization continue to undermine Conservative claims that cannabis is hurtful to the public, while also increasing the ease with which researchers can investigate the health benefits of medicinal marijuana.
Liability release form:
Health Canada website:
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