Two years after the federal Cannabis Act got here into impact, an advocacy group is asking for modifications when it’s up for evaluate this coming 12 months.
A Medical Cannabis Patient Survey of about 1,000 sufferers utilizing hashish medicinally, by Medical Cannabis Canada, discovered that systemic boundaries are stopping the vast majority of these sufferers from going by way of the authorized medical market.
The outcomes present that simply 37 per cent of sufferers are acquiring a medical doc (just like a prescription) and that solely 24 per cent of these with out one seek the advice of a healthcare practitioner about their remedy, with the bulk turning to different sources as an alternative.
“Websites, friends and family, or even ‘bud-tenders’ or salespeople at recreational stores,” mentioned Max Monahan-Ellison, Medical Cannabis Canada Board Member and MCPS Project lead.
“They are being diverted into other channels because the barriers to the actual legal medical market are so substantial that it’s really challenging to find the value as a patient.”
In order to acquire a medical doc, a affected person should first seek the advice of a well being care supplier. The survey outcomes present that 83 per cent of sufferers really feel there’s a stigma amongst medical professionals surrounding hashish use, and 57 per cent say they wrestle to search out a health care provider to talk to about getting the doc.
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When a affected person does handle to acquire the doc, the one option to obtain medical hashish is thru the mail.
“There’s no brick and mortar places to go. You can’t go into a pharmacy and get your treatment alongside your other medications,” Monahan-Ellison mentioned.
“And it’s incredibly expensive.”
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The Cannabis Act features a federal excise obligation on medical hashish which, together with provincial taxes and a scarcity of widespread advantages protection, could make the remedy prohibitively costly.
Sixty per cent of survey respondents mentioned eliminating these taxes would scale back their use of the unregulated market.
Medical Cannabis Canada can be calling for higher accessibility, particularly distribution by way of pharmacies and the power to acquire steerage from pharmacists.
“It’s important to maintain some federal system, it’s important that patients can access through the mail because for those with disabilities it can be very helpful,” mentioned Monahan-Ellison.
“But it’s also clear that we need a medical distribution channel similar to other prescription medication.”
“Pharmacist guidance and distribution with the pharmacy is also a factor that we think will help reduce the stigma patients face, because it does put cannabis in line with other prescription therapies.”
Patients who’ve a medical doc additionally reported a better impression on their remedy through the COVID-19 pandemic, and one in 4 have returned to using anti-inflammatories and opioids on account of boundaries within the authorized medical market.
You can see the complete outcomes of the survey here.
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