Thursday August 25, 2016

Marijuana.Ca Editorial

A new day has dawned in the medical marijuana space in Canada.

Authorized patients can now register with Health Canada and grow their own medical marijuana or designate someone to do so. Or, they can continue to buy their medicine from Licensed Producers. We welcome the expansion of the regulations to allow patients to have these choices.

We project, that in most cases, patients will choose to buy their medicine from Licensed Producers.

For patients who choose to grow their own or use a designated grower, they need to send the original medical document (prescription) signed by their doctor in order to grow their own or use a designated grower. We expect that a percentage of doctors will Not write a medical note if their patient tells them they want to grow their own or use a designated grower. We expect that some doctors will only be comfortable in writing a medical note when the medical marijuana has information available about the THC and CBD levels. To address this, r
egistered home growers will be able to take their medicine, for product safety testing (for a fee), to laboratories that are accredited by Health Canada. This may satisfy some doctors.

According to Lift, doctors are now explicitly allowed to split prescriptions amongst different license producers, giving patients more choice. We are waiting to hear from Lift to see the actual language in the regulations. We'll update this paragraph when we have more information.

Licensed Producers are now allowed to provide medical marijuana in a capsule form. This is beneficial for patients and for doctors who want to recommend very specific doses for their patients.

Patients are only permitted to buy seeds and plant genetics from Licensed Producers. Licensed Producers can import seeds. 

While there are important positive changes reflected in the ACMPR, there are other significant improvements that can be made to the current ACMPR. 

Marijuana.Ca supports the 5 recommendations put forth by The Arthritis Society and CFAMM, on Access, Affordability, and Research to improve patient access to medical marijuana.

Here is a synopsis:
  • Allow for a wider range of distribution options, which include on-site point-of-sale
  • Allow for legal access to a wider range of marijuana products such as tinctures, topicals, beverages and edible extracts in finished baked products
  • Removal of federal sales tax on medical marijuana
  • Health Canada should approve medical marijuana as a medicine, so that it can have an approved drug status, which can then be covered by healthcare insurance plans
  • Increase federal funding to advance medical marijuana research and development in Canada