How to Apply to the Medical Marijuana Access Division
It’s important to us that you clearly understand the process and become familiar with the forms you’re expected to complete to be licensed by Health Canada and participate in the Medical Marijuana Program.
First, you need your doctor’s support. Go into his/her office prepared with the following:
- Clearly identify the symptoms you feel you can better manage with cannabis.
- Explain how you are using cannabis (or want to use cannabis) to manage your symptoms. Your doctor will want to understand how you are using or plan on using cannabis and what effect this is having or will have on your symptoms and well-being. Tell your doctor whether you are smoking it, eating it, or using it in some other form, how much and how often you are using cannabis. Be prepared to explain how cannabis is relieving your symptoms and to say how much cannabis you use, in grams per day. If you have never used cannabis before, get
informed. Speak to others who do use it to manage their symptoms.
- Make a list of medicines and therapies you have tried for these symptoms, and identify which has worked and which has not worked.
- Consider signing the Release Form For a Medical Practitioner from the Canadian Medical Protective Association (CMPA). The CMPA is the medical professional’s insurer and signing this form may alleviate some of your doctor’s concerns about liability.
Note: This form is not valid in Quebec. This is not a Health Canada form and is not required to obtain an authorization to possess cannabis. It may however be useful in getting your physician to support your application.
To see the full list of tips on how to talk to your doctor, consult this detailed guideline from the Canadian Aids Society to ensure you’re asking the appropriate questions and talking to your doctor appropriately.
Completing the Forms
Understanding which Health Canada forms you need to complete can be complicated. We have taken the guesswork out of it by creating a page that will easily tell you which Health Canada Forms you need to complete and provide you links to download them from the Health Canada website.
Your application must be accompanied by two passport sized photographs, to be used on an identification card issued to applicants authorized to possess. The card can be shown to a police officer as evidence that the person is permitted to possess marijuana.
Health Canada is currently taking longer to process applications due to an increase in the number of applications and a lack of government funding. They should acknowledge receipt of the application within 3-5 weeks of receiving it and will indicate if any of the required information is missing. Applications from patients with terminal conditions will be given priority for processing.
Processing time for the application will vary depending on the nature of the applicant’s medical condition, and whether all of the necessary information has been received, this takes several months.
Applicants who are approved will be notified in writing. Many doctors/health professionals may insist that you have previously tried all the mainstream drugs and pharmaceuticals first, for your medical condition, before prescribing marijuana. This does not mean you are required to take them.
To speed up the application let us hook you up with a designated grower so you can include those forms with the rest – it will go faster if you don’t submit the grower forms separately.
If you have any questions on how to apply to be part of Health Canada’s medical marijuana program or want to have us match you with a grower for the application process, please contact us.