Updated on December 28, 2018. Medical content reviewed by Dr. Joseph Rosado, MD, M.B.A, Chief Medical Officer
Update: The Senate passed a bill to legalize recreational marijuana in June 2018. Recreational marijuana is expected to be available in September 2018.
Since 2001, Canada has provided patients with the opportunity to use medical marijuana. In the years following its legalization, the country’s continued to adapt its program in hopes of making it easier for patients to use medical marijuana to alleviate pain and discomfort.
While Canada Health is involved with the country’s medical marijuana program, the Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations (ACMPR) oversees the program. The role of ACMPR is to ensure that the medical marijuana patients use is safe.
Within the program, there are three parties: licensed doctors and practical nurses, producers and patients. Physicians and nurses who are in good standing may recommend medical marijuana, while licensed producers may grow it for patients to purchase. The program only allows the use of medical marijuana as dried, fresh or as an oil.
For more than 70 years, medical marijuana was banned in Canada. It’s thought that the initial illegalization stemmed from a League of Nations meeting, as medical marijuana was unheard of in Canada at the time.
By the 1960s, possessing medical marijuana came with a $1000 fine and six months in prison. For some, this was a sign that times needed to change. The Le Dain Commission, which was initiated by the government, held several research hearings over the next several years. It would take another 30 years, however, before medical marijuana’sn legalization.
Producers must be approved and licensed to grow medical marijuana. As producers are prohibited from operating storefronts, they must ship medical marijuana to their clients. If you wish to cultivate medical cannabis, you or a designated person may, though you’ll need to register and be at least 18 years of age.
Your physician may recommend medical marijuana if you have one of the following symptoms:
If your condition is unlisted, your doctor may still recommend medical cannabis if they feel it’s in your best interest.
Qualifying for a medical marijuana card in Canada requires a few steps:
You also must be at least 18 years of age to use medical marijuana.
Canada Health’s compiled several facts about medical marijuana in Canada, including:
Canada does have penalties for possessing too much medical cannabis. You can’t have more than 30 times the daily limit of dried marijuana, or more than 150 grams. When you order medical marijuana from your producer, you can only request a 30-day supply. Should producers operate a storefront, they’re liable for having their license revoked.
At MarijuanaDoctors.com, we offer the most up-to-date information on medical marijuana in Canada and around the world. Whether you’re interested in learning about using, producing or recommending medical marijuana, we have a variety of resources for reference and guidance.