How to Easily Get Your Medical Marijuana Prescription
Medical marijuana has been available in Canada for more than a decade and its remarkable health benefits are backed by a growing body of research.
So, why does it still seem so confusing and controversial to get a medical marijuana prescription?
If you want to explore cannabis treatment, don’t let the intimidating application process stop you.
With the right information and guidance, you’ll quickly realize the process is much easier than you think. In fact, you can easily get a medical marijuana prescription and access legal cannabis by following these four steps.
From consultation to purchasing cannabis, this guide to getting a medical cannabis prescription will give you a better understanding of exactly what’s involved in the medical marijuana application process.
Understanding the ACMPR
Before we dive into the application process, it’s important to understand the Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations (ACMPR).
Announced in 2016, these regulations were introduced by Health Canada to grant safe access to medical marijuana for patients seeking alternative health products.
Essentially, these regulations allow you to buy quality-controlled cannabis from government-regulated producers – but you must be authorized by a nurse practitioner or licensed physician first.
A wide range of health conditions can qualify you for medical marijuana treatment under the ACMPR, including (but not limited to) the following:
- Chronic pain
- Sleep disorders
- Irritable bowel syndrome
In terms of quality, medical marijuana differs greatly from the recreational variety. Cannabis sold by legal producers is subject to stringent quality controls and must be free of contaminants and residues such as moulds, heavy metals, and pesticides. Each crop is carefully tested and thoroughly inspected before it is made available to patients.
How To Get a Prescription For Medical Cannabis in Canada
So now that we’re clear on the regulations on medical marijuana in Canada and the range of health conditions in which medical cannabis can help you, we’re ready to understand how to get a medical marijuana prescription.
Step 1: Consult With Your Family Doctor
The first step is simple: book an appointment with your family doctor. Consulting with a physician who is already familiar with your medical history will be the quickest way to determine if cannabis is the right treatment for you.
Many doctors still have a negative attitude about cannabis or they may be unfamiliar with the research supporting medical marijuana, so you should be prepared to receive some resistance from your physician.
If you experience this situation, don’t be afraid to speak up. Clearly outline the medications and therapies you’ve already tried that have failed to effectively treat your condition.
It might also be a good idea to print out any relevant information or research to back up your appeal. The more information you provide, the better your chance of being approved for medical marijuana treatment.
Step 2: Get the Necessary Medical Documentation
Once your practitioner decides marijuana is the right treatment for you, they must provide a medical document to authorize the use of cannabis for medical purposes. (It may be this Health Canada form or something similar.)
The form will contain the following information:
- Your full name
- Your date of birth
- The address where you consulted with your practitioner
- The daily quantity of cannabis you’re authorized to use (expressed in grams) and the period of use
Your doctor will also provide their name, administrative information, license number, and signature.
There’s no need to send this form to Health Canada – it must be completed and submitted directly to the licensed producer (as outlined in step 3).
Step 3: Register as a Patient With a Licensed Producer (LP)
After you receive the appropriate documentation, you can register with a licensed producer to legally order your prescription.
Licensed producers are private companies who are licensed by the government to grow, harvest, process, and sell medical cannabis. They must meet a specific set of requirements and undergo a strict application process before being approved by Health Canada.
To register with a licensed producer, you must:
- Provide your original medical document
- Complete a registration form (which can be found on the LP’s website or by contacting them directly)
You have the option to register with any LP of your choice (a list of legal producers in Canada can be found [here]).
This step can seem incredibly confusing, especially if you’re new to marijuana. Your doctor may recommend a specific LP, but oftentimes they’ll only provide a prescription without any further advice or direction.
To help simplify the decision-making process, here are a few key factors to consider when choosing a licensed producer:
Pricing. Check your prescription and consider the price per gram. Does the cost align with what you’re willing to pay? (On average, most strains range between $6 and $15 per gram.)
Policies. Be sure to check the LP’s shipping policy, delivery times, and return policy.
Discounted pricing programs. Licensed producers may offer a discount or compassionate pricing option for veterans and those on low income.
Customer support. LP’s will have a list of FAQ’s on their website, but calling their customer support team can help you make an informed decision.
Payment options. The most common form of payment is by credit card, but you may want to check if other payment methods are available.
The good folks at Lift.co have a list of licensed producers for medical cannabis in Canada.
Step 4: Buying Medical Marijuana
The fourth and final step is to purchase your medical cannabis.
Authorized producers offer a range of medical cannabis strains with different levels of CBD (the non-psychoactive component) and THC (the main psychoactive component).
To experience the health benefits without the high, you may want to consider a strain with a high CBD, low THC ratio. CBD is regarded for its ability to alleviate the symptoms of conditions like epilepsy, anxiety, and arthritis without any mind-altering effects.
These therapeutic strains are available in various forms, such as edibles, pills, and oils, so there’s no need to inhale harmful smoke or carcinogens.
Each licensed producer has a list of products, prices, and strain availability on their individual websites so you can compare them before making a purchase.
If you don’t feel comfortable choosing a strain, consult with a practitioner to determine which variety is best suited to treat your condition. You can also contact your LP directly for more detailed information and advice.
Once you’ve chosen your preferred product, simply place your order online or by phone. Then you can sit back, relax, and wait for your medication to be delivered to your doorstep.
Life is good, right!?
So What’s Next?
So now that you know how to get a medical marijuana license in Canada, please share this article with your friends who are looking for an easy solution!
If you work for a company in the medical cannabis and recreational marijuana space, we want to talk to you!
ColaDigital is Canada’s most experienced digital marketing agency dedicated to marketing recreational marijuana and medical cannabis. We partner with marijuana companies who share our vision of destigmatizing cannabis and breaking new ground in this dynamic industry.
Our team has been involved in the social and digital marketing space since 2004, we believe our experience speaks for itself. We’ve served over 100 clients in a wide variety of B2B and B2C sectors, including companies in the medical cannabis space. We know what works and what doesn’t.
If you have questions or are ready to work with us, please contact us or use the form below. We’re ready to help you grow!