Find out which necessary requirements you need to fulfill to become eligible for medical marijuana in Canada, and follow this step-by-step guide to get cannabis delivered to your home.
Getting medical marijuana in 5 steps:
- Find a healthcare practitioner. Tell them your issues and see if you would benefit from cannabis.
- Your doctor will fill out the “medical document”. This contains dosage info, patient info and healthcare practitioner info.
- Print one signed copy, then scan it and save as PDF. You will use this to sign up with an LP.
- Register with a licensed producer. Find the LP you like, then register with them and send them your medical documents.
- Purchase cannabis directly from the LP’s website. The product will be delivered to your door in a few days.
Ready to kick this off? Read on for more detail 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, or you sense that you might have one of these conditions, you need to schedule an appointment with an authorized health care practitioner.
The ACMPR (Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations) manages medical cannabis across all provinces of Canada, and under their jurisdiction, authorized health care practitioners which include physicians and nurse practitioners from all provinces and territories 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 top-grade strains of cannabis, from an extremely quality-controlled environment.
Furthermore, you’re also allowed to grow your own medical cannabis under the AMCPR, but we’ll get to that in a bit.
Uncover the best medical cannabis strains for you with Strainblazer™, our tool that helps you search through all strains produced by ACMPR licensed producers.
Who can give out the medical document
To become eligible for the ACMPR program, an accredited health care practitioner has to carefully inspect all of your medical documentation and records. These records have to fulfil specific time-frame conditions, which vary for each condition, and we’ll touch upon this a bit later in the article.
A physician has to be a member of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, with a current valid membership. Additionally, the physician in question has to have a valid license which is issued by a local provincial (or territorial) licensing authority, and also have a Class 1 narcotics license.
Besides physicians, current medical cannabis laws now also allow nurse practitioners to give out prescriptions for medical marijuana, under ACMPR regulations.
The medical document
This is the most important (and only) certificate you’ll be needing for accessing medical cannabis, and the paramount information stated in it includes:
- 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 duration cannot exceed a full year, and if additional treatment is required, the medical document needs to be re-issued. The amount of daily cannabis is dependant on the condition in question, because naturally they aren’t all measured equal.
How to acquire a medical document
Under the ACMPR program, the decision to use medical cannabis is entirely in the hands of the patient, or in the hands of the health care practitioner (if they are open minded enough for medicinal marijuana), which is still somewhat uncommon.
That being said, there are numerous walk-in clinics with doctors who (if you fulfil all the aforementioned conditions) are certified to approve you for a medical cannabis treatment method.
It’s probably best that you search online for a cannabis-friendly clinic in your area, because there is a great possibility that your doctor is either still unacquainted with all the possibilities that cannabis treatment is able to offer, or is under the payroll of the current pharmaceutical medical establishment.
Even though medical cannabis really came a long way in recent years, there is still a great stigma around it, especially in the medical circles.
In order to get your medical document, you’ll need to have a diagnosis by an authorized doctor that isn’t more than five years old (the diagnosis, not the doctor), and to become fully eligible it’s also required that your condition was monitored by an authorized specialist in the last year.
Of course, all previous medical documentation has to be available for inspection, which can encompass records from the walk-in clinic, or hospital records and documentation from your health practitioner (or physician) who was in charge of the treatment you’re applying for.
Simply put, it’s absolutely imperative that everything about your diagnosis is in check.
Ordering cannabis from a licensed producer
Once you’ve acquired your medical document, you need to sign up with an LP.
There are over 80 licensed producers currently in Canada, so you should definitely google a bit to find the producer in your province (or territory) best suited for your specific requirements.
Not all producers have the exact same strains available, so you should probably keep that in mind while choosing the ideal LP, because the availability of certain strains will definitely be important aspect of your treatment.
I suggest you try and find the best possible strains for your ailment online, and then choose the licensed producer that has the majority (or all) of those strains available in stock.
For instance, in every article where we talk about a certain condition, we always include the best possible strains for it.
The licensed producer will of course require your medical document for inspection, and once all the registration is finished, you’ll be able to order online, and receive the medical cannabis delivered to your home address.
It’s also important to note that you cannot have a quantity larger than 30 times of your daily dose on your behalf, and if your prescription dosage is more than 5 grams a day, you cannot exceed the maximal 150 gram limit.
In case you get stopped by the police, you’ll need to provide them with either a medical card or your medical document, but also the packaging of the cannabis will have your name, condition and all other important information printed on it.
So even if you don’t have the medical document (or card) on your behalf, having your ID and keeping your cannabis in its official packaging will be proof enough, but to avoid any discrepancies we at Greencamp suggest your carry your card (or document) with you at all times.
The difference between licensed producers and dispensaries
Even though you can also purchase medical cannabis from various dispensaries across Canada, they are completely unregulated nowadays, so determining the quality of their cannabis can be quite difficult and unverified, which is really bad for any efficient medical treatment.
Another important factor is the exact amount (and ratio) of cannabinoids for each specific ailment. In the case of licensed producers you can be certain that the cannabis was grown and nurtured by professional growers, and that you’re always getting the exact product you paid for.
As previously mentioned, once you’ve gained your medical document you’re also allowed to grow your own cannabis exclusively for personal use. We’re going to elaborate further on what exactly the conditions are for growing your own.
Growing your own medical marijuana
Once you’ve gotten your medical document, you’re allowed to sign up with Health Canada to become a grower exclusively for your own medicinal purposes. You also can’t start with the growing before you get a registration certificate from Health Canada.
Once you’ve acquired the certificate, you can grow your own cannabis in indoor, or outdoor conditions. Naturally there is a limit of quantity, and it’s measured in grams you’re allowed to consume per day.
To figure out the exact number of plants (and grams) you’re allowed to grow and keep in storage, check out this handy plant calculator, it will show you the precise amount of plants/grams you can keep.
This is of course much more complicated than ordering your cannabis from a licensed producer, because there are numerous regulations and rules to be followed.
There is just too much information about this subject to cover it completely in this article, but if for financial or any other reasons you want to grow your personal cannabis, you can find all the answers on this page.
Also if you’re suffering from a more serious conditions, and if you’re generally inexperienced with cannabis cultivation, it’s probably best to rely on the licensed producers’ assistance, because you won’t be able to surpass their level of expertise.
On the other hand, if that isn’t the case, you can definitely experiment with home cultivation, because there aren’t many sensations as good as picking the fruits of your own labor.