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Medical Cannabis

Medical Cannabis

Research has increasingly shown that for some people with arthritis, medical cannabis can be a safe and effective alternative to opioids and other medications in the management of pain and some other symptoms. But the legalization of recreational cannabis use in Canada has made patients’ access to medical cannabis worse, not better

In addition to funding scientific research to better understand the role of cannabis for medical purposes, the Arthritis Society is a leading voice in Canada advocating for the rights of patients in making sure medical cannabis is accessible and affordable.

In particular, we are calling for the federal government to:

  • End taxation of medical cannabis: The costs associated with the use of cannabis for medical purposes can be extremely burdensome for patients, many of whom are on fixed incomes. The imposition of sales and excise taxes on medical cannabis represents an additional, unfair and unjustified burden for patients. It’s also inconsistent, as all other prescription drugs and medical necessities are zero-rated under the Excise Tax Act.
  • Enable pharmacy distribution: Pharmacies should have the authority to retail medical cannabis. This will create a clear distinction between medical cannabis and cannabis for recreational/non-medical use, and will help ensure that patients receive reliable education on the safe and effective use of medical cannabis from trained health care professionals. This will also help facilitate reimbursement by health insurance plans.

Ask your representative:

Will you commit to ensuring medical cannabis is accessible tax-free to patients who have a medical document? Do you understand the potential benefit of pharmacy distribution of medical cannabis, and support moving in that direction?

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