Pot Licenses Still Taking Months to Deliver

A woman who’s been waiting five months for an updated licence to use medical marijuana says the situation for patients is getting worse.

Marie Tripp applied in August to change her licence after her doctor doubled her prescription for cannabis, and spoke to QMI Agency at the end of September about previous delays getting renewals and changes for her licence. Tripp suffers from fibro myalgia, chronic fatigue and osteoarthritis, but doesn’t use any painkillers other than marijuana.

She’s waited so long for the approval, however, that she’s only five weeks away from having to renew her old license, an annual requirement for those approved to use pot to ease their chronic pain and help their appetites.

Tripp says she confirmed her application was in order, but was then told she submitted too much information, and her application was being returned to her.

Health Canada issues licences to people with debilitating illnesses and prescriptions from their doctors. Almost 5,000 Canadians have licences to carry marijuana and just over 3,500 have a licence to grow it.

But Tripp and others worry they risk being charged with possession, or even having their homes raided by police, while they wait.

“My grower is growing what I’m allowed, without a valid license for the amount that’s on my table,” Tripp said, “because of Health Canada’s inability to get the cards to us.”

Tripp has resubmitted her application as a licence renewal with an amendment, but her application is now on the bottom of the pile again.

Liberal health critic Ujjal Dosanjh points out this is a doctor’s prescription to which Tripp is entitled.

“This government is playing doctor … because they hate the idea of allowing anyone to take marijuana.”

A spokesman for Health Canada says the department streamlined its process and is now hitting its eight to 10 week processing time target, but wouldn’t comment on Tripp’s case, citing privacy concerns.

– Article from Toronto Sun.

Medical marijuana users wait for licences

by CBC News

A Halifax man says he was forced to wait months to legally access medicinal marijuana, the result of a national backlog because of a rise in applicants.

David Shea, 30, suffers from schleroderma, a chronic and disabling autoimmune disease that affects the skin, organs, joints and digestive tract.

After Shea’s licence to use medical marijuana expired in September, he said he was stuck in a four-month backlog with Health Canada before his new licence arrived in the mail Wednesday.

“I’ve been without medicine which means I’ve had to go to the black market or rely on friendly people to give me cannabis,” he said Thursday.

“It gives me the ability to go around and do the housework and things like that because I’m not in pain,” he said.

Shea said the paperwork to renew his licence was sent to the government in May.

“I just feel like the regulations and the department doing the paperwork is a barrier for me gaining safe access to cannabis,” he said.

More than 600 Nova Scotians are licensed to possess medical marijuana and some of them could also face long waits.

Heath Canada is working to address the national backlog it says has been been caused by a sharp rise in new applications.

Shea said getting his renewal in the mail this week has given him peace of mind. He’s now waiting for his medical marijuana order to arrive by mail.

“I feel safer because now if a police officer comes by and asks if I have proof for my medicine, now I can show them that I do,” said Shea.

– Article from CBC News.