Find out all the requirements for getting access to cannabis for medical purposes in Canada.
How to get a medical marijuana prescription in Canada:
- Find an online cannabis clinic. Tell them about your health concerns and discuss if you would benefit from cannabis.
- They will fill out your “medical document”. This document contains information about you, your healthcare practitioner and the suggested dosage.
- Print one signed copy, then scan it and save as PDF. You will use this to sign up with a licensed producer.
- Register with a licensed producer. Find the licensed producer you like, then register with them by sending them your medical document.
- Purchase cannabis directly from the producer’s website. At this point, you are eligible to buy cannabis legally online as a medical user.
Read on for more details on these 5 steps.
Conditions that benefit from the use of medical cannabis
- Alzheimer’s Disease
- Auto Accident(s)
- Back & Neck Problems
- Brain Injury
- Chronic Nausea
- Chronic Pain
- Crohn’s Disease
- Eating Disorders
- Gastrointestinal Disorders
- Hepatitis C
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome
- Kidney Failure/Dialysis
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Muscle Spasms
- Muscular Dystrophy
- Parkinson’s Disease
- Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
- Severe Arthritis
- Sexual Dysfunction
- Sleep Disorders
- Spinal Cord Injury/Disease
If you’re already aware that you might have one of these conditions, you need to schedule an appointment with an authorized healthcare practitioner.
The ACMPR (Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations) manages medical cannabis across all provinces and, under their jurisdiction, authorized health practitioners which include physicians and registered nurses from all provinces and territories are eligible to give out the medical document for an authorized use of medical cannabis.
The ACMPR was announced by Health Canada in August 2016, and came into power several weeks after that.
Once you’ve obtained the medical cannabis document from an official authority figure (physician or nurse practitioner), you become eligible to purchase medical marijuana from a licensed producer.
Licensed producers (or in short LP’s) are the official cultivators of medical marijuana, and all of them are licensed and regulated by Health Canada, which means you’ll be able to choose from a wide variety of cannabis strains and products, from a quality-controlled environment.
You’re also allowed to grow your own medical cannabis under the AMCPR, but we’ll get to that in a bit.
Who can give out the medical cannabis prescription in Canada?
To become eligible for the ACMPR program, an accredited health practitioner has to carefully inspect all of your medical documentation and records.
Besides physicians, current laws in Canada now also allow nurse practitioners to give out the prescriptions for medical marijuana.
This set of rules gave birth to a lot of cannabis clinics (some of which operate fully online) which have their own healthcare practitioners.
Online cannabis clinics are legal and make it easy to get a medical cannabis prescription from the comfort of your home, in as little as one video session.
What is the medical document?
This is the most important (and the only) certificate you need for accessing medical cannabis.
It includes the following information:
- Your name;
- Date of birth;
- Address of your health care practitioner;
- Name and administrative information of the practitioner (including the profession, address, phone number, fax number, email address, license number and the province of license);
- An attest from your health care practitioner which verifies that all the information in the document is valid;
- The exact daily number of grams of dried cannabis you’re allowed to consume, and the duration of the treatment. The prescription lasts for 12 months, and if additional treatment is required the medical document needs to be re-issued. The amount of allowed daily cannabis is dependent on the condition in question.
How to acquire a medical document?
Luckily, there are numerous walk-in and online cannabis clinics with doctors who are certified to approve you for medical cannabis.
Even though cannabis really came a long way in recent years, there is still a great deal of stigma around it, especially in the medical circles.
In order to get your medical cannabis document, you need to get diagnosed by an authorized doctor, and to become fully eligible it’s also required that your condition was monitored by an authorized specialist for (at least) one year.
Of course, all previous medical documentation has to be available for inspection, which can encompass records from the cannabis clinic, or other documentation from a health practitioner who was in charge of the treatment you’re applying for.
How to order cannabis from a licensed producer?
Once you’ve acquired your medical document, you need to sign up with an LP.
There are over a 100 licensed producers currently in Canada, so you should definitely spend some time to find the top rated producer in your province.
Not all producers have the exact same products available, so you should probably keep that in mind when choosing an LP.
The availability of certain strains will be an important aspect of your treatment.
I suggest you first try and find the best possible strain for your condition, and then go to a licensed producer that sells your strain of choice.
You can use our strain finder tool to browse through more than 400 strains currently on sale in Canada, just by answering a few simple questions. We keep the database updated so you always get the latest information.
Once you send your documents to the LP they will sign you up as a registered patient and you’ll be able to order on their online store.
Medical cannabis is always shipped to your home address.
It’s also important to note that you can legally posses up to 30 times your suggested daily dose.
Are you allowed to grow your own medical marijuana?
Once you get your medical document, you’re allowed to become a grower exclusively for your own medicinal purposes. This is often much cheaper than buying cannabis from a licensed producer, but the downside it that it takes a lot of time and effort.
Have in mind that you can’t start growing before you get a registration certificate from Health Canada.
Naturally there is a limit on how much grams you can produce on your own, and it’s measured in grams you’re allowed to consume per day (according to your actual medical document).
To figure out the exact number of plants (and grams) you’re allowed to grow and keep in storage, check out this handy calculator—it will show you the precise amount of plants/grams you can grow.