Medical Cannabis: What doctors need to know
The Marihuana for Medical Purposes Regulations help patients access medical cannabis without the lengthy paperwork or Health Canada approval that came with the former system.
The new system allows doctors and nurse practitioners to prescribe medical cannabis for any patient they feel may beneﬁt. According to Health Canada, evidence suggests that medical cannabis may be useful in some of the following therapeutic situations: Palliative Care, Chronic Pain, Nausea and Vomiting, Wasting Syndrome and Loss of Appetite, Anorexia Nervosa, Multiple Sclerosis, ALS, Epilepsy, Fibromyalgia, Arthritis (RA or OA), Glaucoma, Insomnia, Anxiety and Depression, Inﬂammatory Bowel Disease, and others.
Prescribing Medical Cannabis
The process allowing for patients to access medical cannabis is different than for other pharmaceutical products:
- Rather than calling it a prescription, the regulations refer to the doctor’s recommendation as a “Medical Document.”
- This Medical Document must include the following items: Date, Patient Name and DOB, Physician Name, Address, Phone and Fax Number, Provincial Registration Number, Location where the consultation took place. The physician must also attest that the information in the document is correct and complete.
- The Medical Document must list the amount of cannabis per day, in grams as well as the duration for which the document is valid (up to one year).
- In order to access the medical cannabis, patients will need to register with a Licensed Producer (“LP”).
- Once the LP receives the original Medical Document, they will ship the cannabis directly to patients. Dispensaries are not permitted.
Typical Patient Workflow
- Medical Document. If upon completing your consultation, you and your patient agree that medical cannabis is a suitable treatment option, you will need to complete a Medical Document.
- Patient Chooses LP and Strain. There are dozens of Licensed Producers and hundreds of cannabis strains. Different strains can have different medical effects. Helping a patient choose the most appropriate strain and LP is the reason we created CanvasRx. We provide unbiased information about LPs and strains to assist patients in choosing the cannabis that most suits their needs.
- Mail. Once your patient has chosen an LP and a strain, the patient mails in the original Medical Document and an LP registration form. Upon receipt of the document, the LP will contact your ofﬁce to conﬁrm the details. Once conﬁrmed, the order is shipped to the patient.