Last updated Feb. 15, 2018.
Recent amendments to Health Canada’s Marijuana Medical Access now make it possible for chronic pain patients to obtain prescriptions for medical marijuana from physicians. The agency states, “Health Canada does not endorse the use of marijuana, but the courts have required reasonable access to a legal source of marijuana for medical purposes.”
There are several different online directories for medical marijuana dispensaries in Ontario. On Health Canada’s website, you’ll find a list of licensed producers authorized to sell or provide cannabis to eligible persons under the Marihuana for Medical Purposes Regulations (MMPR). However, we’ve listed a few people along with information on qualifying for medical marijuana under Ontario law.
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Ontario Medical Marijuana Dispensaries
There are multiple dispensaries in Ontario, so find one that’s both reputable and convenient to you. Below are just a few:
- Hamilton Medical Marijuana Centre – this dispensary is located at 833 King Street E in Hamilton. Call 905-581-6641. Hours are Tues – Fri: 1pm – 5pm or weekends by appointment.
- The Marsh Marijuana Club – this is a membership-based club in Kingston. Call 905-775-1652 for more information.
- Toronto, Ontario Marijuana Compassion Club | T.I.M.E. – this club, located at the Therapeutics Involving Medicinal Efficacy in Toronto, advises patients to call for more info: 647-835-4212. Mon – Fri: 12pm – 3pm.
- London, Ontario Marijuana Compassion Club – this London Compassion Society club suggests that patients call 866-337-7705 for more information.
- Medical Compassion Clinic – this clinic features the Toronto, Ontario Marijuana Compassion Club and is located the second floor of 66 Wellesley Street East in Toronto. Call 647-291-0420. Mon – Sat: 10am – 7pm and Sundays and holidays: 12pm – 6pm.
Another helpful resource is the PotLocator, a website where you not only can search for local dispensaries, but also for doctors, smoke shops, grow shops, labs, and organizations. It also has community news, forums, and related products that those with medical marijuana prescriptions may find useful.
When obtaining your prescription, keep in mind that “Dried marijuana is not an approved drug or medicine in Canada. The Government of Canada does not endorse the use of marijuana, but the courts have required reasonable access to a legal source of marijuana when authorized by a physician,” cautions Health Canada.
Medical Marijuana for Chronic Pain
Dr. John Goodhew, a Canadian doctor who regularly helps patients gain access medical marijuana, explains to the Huffington Post that some of the key positives in the new legislation include:
- an increasing number of choices in varieties for consumers;
- higher-quality products on the market; and
- the opportunity for clinical studies for studying the benefits and side effects of marijuana.
Chronic pain patients now may have easier access to another remedy for their conditions.
According to MediResource, cannabis produces several notable effects on the body, including:
- pain relief;
- euphoria and dysphoria;
- personality changes;
- sedation and memory impairment;
- reduced nausea;
- increased appetite;
- lowered blood pressure; and
- smoke-related lung damage.
Approved Conditions for a Medical Marijuana Prescription
As such, severe and/or chronic pain is one of the conditions that may qualify a person for a medical marijuana prescription. Health Canada’s list of approved conditions includes:
- severe pain or muscle spasms from severe forms of arthritis, multiple sclerosis, spinal cord injuries or other disease;
- HIV/AIDS infection-related pain or cancer-related lack of appetite, severe nausea, weight loss and malnutrition; and
- epilepsy seizures.
Other conditions and symptoms may qualify. Patients are advised to speak to their doctors about whether or not medical marijuana is advantageous for their particular condition.
Staying Updated on Ontario Dispensary Laws
If you use medical marijuana for medical purposes, you’ll want to stay up to date on all the legal changes occurring in the nation. You can subscribe to Cannabis News’ Canadian Cannabis News RSS feed or visit Health Canada’s website for the latest happenings.
You also might find helpful information from MedicalMarijuana.ca’s website. In its Learning Center directory, patients can learn about various strains, condition, history and laws, as well as get recipes and locate compassion clubs.
It’s important to note that in order to be compliant with current laws in Canada, you must have a prescription or have approval from Health Canada under the MMPR.
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If you suffer from chronic pain, it’s important to work with your physician to find a treatment plan that works for you. It may or may not include medical marijuana. Recommended methods of taking marijuana include vaporizing, making edibles, and oils and tinctures.
If your chronic pain condition was caused by negligence or if you have trouble obtaining disability benefits, we invite you to call our legal team in Ontario at Preszler Law. Contact us at 1-800-JUSTICE® today for a free, no-obligation consultation.