Are Medical Marijuana Doctors Real Doctors?
In Canada, only real doctors can prescribe medical marijuana.
Medical professionals, including doctors and nurse practitioners, are governed by new regulations that came into effect in August of 2016. The Government of Canada’s Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations (ACMPR) replaces the Marihuana for Medical Purposes Regulations (MMPR).
The ACMPR set the guidelines for the medical use of marijuana, which include the requirement for a medical document that functions as a prescription from a licensed physician. Under the regulations, physicians have the primary responsibility of deciding whether their patients should use medical marijuana to treat their conditions. Conditions and ailments for which doctors can prescribe cannabis are also defined under the ACMPR.
Doctors often turn to medical marijuana when other methods of treatment have been ineffective in alleviating a patient’s symptoms or chronic conditions. It’s estimated that some 40,000 Canadians use medical cannabis to treat conditions ranging from chronic pain to glaucoma to cancer, and that number is on the rise as mainstream medicine begins to research the effects marijuana has on the body.
Your Right as a Canadian
Courts have ruled that patients have the right to reasonable access to marijuana when its use is authorized by a doctor. With thousands of strains and types of medical marijuana available, there is a call for a certain amount of expertise in dispensing the correct strain and dosage of the plant to match a patient’s condition. In cases where your family physician may not feel comfortable prescribing marijuana, referrals are not only available, but required. The advantage to obtaining medical marijuana from a marijuana doctor is that they are proficient in matching dosages and specific strains to the patient’s specific symptoms and conditions. .
Medical marijuana doctors, or doctors who are more familiar with the process of prescribing marijuana, are still subject to stringent guidelines. Medical marijuana doctors have to confirm a prior diagnosis made within a certain timeframe by a family physician or specialist. They also have to assess the patient, including medical history, before issuing the medical marijuana prescription.
Dispensaries and compassion clubs that do not have the right to prescribe marijuana. While some have gone as far as employing medical doctors, they are not currently legally regulated to sell medicinal (or any other type of marijuana), due to the fact that dispensaries are not approved suppliers by Health Canada. When seeking a medical cannabis prescription, always start by setting up an appointment at your local clinic, or with your family physician.Back To FAQ