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Legalization making access harder for medical cannabis users

Last Updated Jul 4, 2019 at 11:59 am PST

FILE - Growing flowers of cannabis intended for the medical marijuana market are shown at OrganiGram in Moncton, N.B., on April 14, 2016. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ron Ward
Summary

Approximately a quarter of medical cannabis users find it difficult to access the drug.

Increasing price is also an issue.

Many medical cannabis users are turning to recreational cannabis providers and the black market.

OTTAWA (NEWS 1130) – Since the legalization of cannabis in Canada, medical users have found it more difficult to find access, according to a new survey.

Canadians for Fair Access to Medical Marijuana, the Arthritis Society and the Canadian Pharmacists Association commissioned the survey, which says that one-in-four medical cannabis users are finding it harder to find.

Medical cannabis users have also found increasing cost an problem. As a result of these issues, 64 per cent of medical cannabis users find themselves under-dosing or stretching out their supplies.

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“In order to have an effective medical system for the hundreds and thousands of Canadians using cannabis for medical purposes, it needs to be more accessible,” says Max Monahan-Ellison, Vice President, CFAMM. “Patients need easy access to a safe, affordable, and consistent dose and cannabinoid breakdown for their symptoms and more involved support from health care professionals (HCPs). This means treating cannabis like other medically authorized treatments by eliminating tax, improving insurance coverage and HCP training, providing convenient distribution through established medical systems like the pharmacy, and more.”

This has led to many purchasing their from recreational cannabis stores or from the illegal black market, which is unregulated.

The survey also found that over 60 per cent of medical cannabis user self-medicate. The main conditions that medical cannabis is used to treat includes physical pain, insomnia, anxiety, stress and arthritis.