The Cannabis Act: Patients, Everything you need to know

Updated: Jun 20, 2019

Although medical marijuana has been legal in Canada since 2001, today marks the public, recreational legalization of it. Did you know that Canada is only the second country in the world – and the first G7 nation – to allow a nationwide marijuana market?!

If you use cannabis for medical purposes, a few things have improved.

If you’re a patient using medical marijuana as authorized by your health care provider, you’re still able to access it for medical purposes by:

  1. Buying directly from a federally licensed seller

  2. Registering with Health Canada to produce a limited amount of cannabis for your own medical purposes

  3. Designating someone to produce it for you

And of course, if you’re legal age (of 19), you’re able to also buy cannabis at provincial or territorial authorized retail outlets and through provincial or territorial authorized online sales platforms.

The new improvements for accessing cannabis for medical purposes from a federally licensed seller include:

  1. The ability to request the return of your medical document from a federally licensed seller

  2. The ability to request the transfer of your medical document to a different federally licensed seller

  3. That the effective date on the registration document will be the day it is issued, rather than the day the medical document was signed by the health care provider

  4. Removal of the 30-day limitation period for buying cannabis from a federally licensed seller (to ensure no break in your supply)

  5. A broader range of permitted products

  6. Access to an increasing number of licensed producers and sellers

If you’re a patient registered under the Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations, you don’t need to do anything at this time.

Your current registration has:

  1. Automatically transitioned to the Cannabis Act and new regulations

  2. Kept its existing expiry date (unless your registration is cancelled for other reasons)

Other improvements and benefits for patients include that:

  1. Health Canada has committed to evaluate the drug review and approval process so Canadians in need have better access to a range of medicinal options

  2. The Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) is investing significantly in research on cannabis and cannabinoids including, but not limited to, research related to use for medical purposes Health Canada will also be collecting and monitoring data from various cannabis surveys to better understand: trends; use patterns; and impacts for individuals who use cannabis for medical purposes

  3. Health Canada continues to report on scientific literature with respect to: potential therapeutic uses of cannabis for medical purposes and adverse effects

For more information on everything you need to know, check out this link:

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