Medical marijuana has been legal in Canada since 2001, with full legalization of recreational cannabis coming next year.
Surprisingly, many Canadians are still in the dark on how to get legal medical cannabis and the extent to which it’s currently operating in Canada. It’s now time to clear the smoke.
Canada is experiencing a cannabis revolution. Not only are more people emerging in support of cannabis legalization, it’s becoming increasingly common for people to turn to cannabis for an alternative to pharmaceutical products to treat medical conditions.
Pharmaceuticals have many side effects (as evidenced by the almost-comical warnings we see after TV commercial for various drugs). They’re expensive, and can be addictive. But cannabis isn’t for everyone either.
Canndora’s got the straight facts about medical cannabis in Canada. Here’s we’ll cover how you can begin the process of exploring marijuana for medicinal and therapeutic purposes to find out if cannabis is right for you.
Licensed Providers & Storefronts – A Grey Area
Before looking at getting a marijuana card, there’s an important distinction to be made for where medical marijuana in Canada is sourced. Health Canada has a list of official government-approved licensed providers (LPs) that are authorized to legally sell cannabis to those with a prescription.
Most of these have online operations that will allow a cannabis patient, with a prescription, to order cannabis products right to their door.
There are also a number of storefronts that have cropped up in municipalities across the country in what is referred to the ‘grey’ market for cannabis products. The regulations and laws maintain that storefronts, or cannabis dispensaries, at present, are federally illegal.
Despite these, storefronts remain in operation across Canada, with BC being a particularly active place for medical cannabis dispensaries. Yet many in the country are subject to raids and risk being shut down, Ontario being a current hot spot for raids.
For those using medical cannabis, it’s generally advised that purchases from LPs are stored and transported with your medical documentation along with your purchase receipts.
So, what does a marijuana prescription look like?
Getting Your Marijuana Card
The process to get your medical marijuana card, or prescription, is pretty straightforward and there are a number of ways you can get access to medical marijuana through a prescription.
First, you’ll want to access a cannabis doctor, who provides the service of considering people’s needs and how they can recommend you use cannabis to treat them.
Getting prescribed isn’t too difficult, as any ailment or condition you are seeking support for usually has a medical marijuana solution and would be an approved condition by Health Canada for treatment with medical cannabis. There are a few ways you can access a cannabis doctor. You can go in-person to an established cannabis clinic, or you can consult a marijuana doctor online.
Some storefronts provide this service, where you’ll be hooked up to a cannabis doctor right on site over Skype who will recommend you get products from that specific storefront via a membership card. To get a more broadly applicable prescription, you can consider using a cannabis access organization like National Cannabis Access, and it’ll generally be accepted as your marijuana prescription.
What’s Right for You?
The best approach that you can take is to inform yourself through thoughtful cannabis education programs online or in person. They’re cropping up everywhere through cannabis education organizations and licensed providers.
Additionally, in addition to the community we’re building here at Canndora, there are some fantastic online communities for women on social media. For instance, SheCann: Legal Medical Cannabis Empowering Canadian Women is a closed-member site where women can share their experiences of cannabis, providers, specific strains, and products.
With medical cannabis, there is no one-size-fits-all approach, but there is a strong community of women emerging to take advantage of medical cannabis and share their experiences. Be one of them.
Connect with Canndora to share your experience with cannabis in our community.
Anne-Marie Fischer Moodie is a freelance cannabis writer and educator dedicated to cultivating and disseminating important knowledge about cannabis as legalization spreads across the globe. After spending most of her career in academic and research settings, Anne-Marie and her husband moved to Tamarindo, Costa Rica and open a tattoo shop called The Drifter’s Ink while she explored the prospect of full-time writing. By consistently working with clients in the cannabis industry for their professional writing needs, Anne-Marie found a natural connection between her unique skill set and the needs of the cannabis industry. Now, CannaWrite is a freelance professional writing company that seeks to employ and empower other female writers in helping the world’s best cannabis companies.