Dealers Taking Advantage of Health Canada’s Medical Marijuana Program

Sick and dying Canadians can apply to Health Canada for a licence to use marijuana to ease their symptoms, but an exclusive Global News investigation has learned drug dealers are hijacking the licencing process.

Global National health specialist Jennifer Tryon spoke to one marijuana dealer, whose identity and location are being concealed in exchange for information.

He has 73 plants — enough for seven kilograms of pot — and it’s all legal. “Basically, I have a Health Canada licence to possess. I also have a Health Canada licence to grow,” he says.

That licence to grow means he’s supposed to use all of the pot himself as medication. But he is growing far more than he would need himself, so he’s been selling the excess to traffick marijuana.

The dealer says he uses the profits to support his family.

Global News has discovered if you’re willing to pay, getting access to a medical marijuana licence is easy.

“I came to the doctor’s office prepared with the Health Canada papers in my hand and cash in my pocket and hoped for the best… I wouldn’t have the licence if I didn’t pay that $250,” the dealer says.

In an instant, he says, his business was born.

Due to the stigma surrounding pot and absence of guidelines on what to prescribe it for, most doctors refuse to sign the Health Canada paperwork for a licence. That reluctance has led to a bottlenecking of patients flocking to doctors, like Dr. Rob Kamermans, who are willing to see patients and sign — even if it’s for cash.

Sources tell Global News that in 2011, Kamermans signed nearly 5,000 of these applications. That accounts for nearly one-third of all the licences in Canada.

To reach people, he runs makeshift clinics out of hotels across Canada.

Chris Lawson attended one of these clinics because he was desperately seeking help for his arthritis. “Along with the medical files and myself, we were also told to bring a fee of $250 in cash,” he recalls.

He says in a matter of 10 minutes, he had the signature he needed to access the program. “The part I thought was odd was that there was no receipt.”

Lawson says while there were nearly 20 other people in line that day, he wasn’t sure they were all patients.

Global News tracked down Kamermans to ask if he knew who he was signing for. Were they really patients? Or were they criminals? “How do I know patients that come to my office aren’t criminals? It’s the same thing,” the doctor says.

“There’s nothing illegal, nothing immoral about it,” Kamermans adds.

With each form costing $250, and nearly 5,000 forms signed, that amounts to about $1.2 million in profits.

Ottawa has pledged to a new medical marijuana program in two years.

In the meantime, the Federation of Medical Authorities in Canada has a warning for anyone involved in signing licence applications for money. Dr. Yves Robert says, “It is an unacceptable behaviour to profit off a system, to make money for their own benefit.”

Jennifer’s full investigation on the abuse of Health Canada’s medical marijuana program will air on 16×9, Saturday at 7 PM on Global Television.

– Article from Global News.

Comments

12 Comments

  1. Anonymous on

    Strike two for this doctor, he don’t beleive in narcotics, won’t do oxy as sees health risks.
    Do a search, no one robs anything high on pot.

  2. Anonymous on

    This guy is my “real” doctor, fact is he’s a good and comp guy that
    got overwhelmed since he was the ONLY ONE signing what every other doctor should have been doing.
    Since many of his requests came from elderly and those too sick to travel to his clinic, he set up clinics in TRAVEL LODGE
    type hotel banquette areas.
    At his clinic his fee was 100 as allowed by medical boards, on the road he charged 250 due to traveling staff, set up fees.
    The knob-head that said he would make a million dollars on the licnese granted (look at the date, he’d had it for 2 weeks) was lying and set up by the reporter.
    On an indoor 70 plant garden (same as my lic btw) you’ll get a few grams per plant

  3. Anonymous on

    go to any doctor in BC and you will see a long list of fees, new and old, for a range of services like this. My family doctor now charges between 50-75$ for letters required for work purposes (sick from work) or legal requirements (ICBC)…on top of the money he receives for seeing me in the first place. Times that by the amount of patients he sees for approx 12 minutes a piece, add in any pharmaceutical company incentives and you might wonder why you’re making a fuss about this particular doctor. The problem is not with the doctor or entirely with the license system, but that you are talking to a criminal… speak to any criminal engaged in criminal behavior and guess what you find. Perhaps, rather than the blackmarket, this seemingly legitimate patient could associate with an established cannabis dispensary and assist other sick people access medicine while putting food on his children’s plate with an clearer conscience…ps: how much was he paid to do this anonymous story by Global?

  4. B on

    Until we actually legalize the entire chain of production from seed to point of sale, for both medical and recreational use, these kinds of problems will persist. We have seen every time a government legalizes access for a group of people or even society in general (Holland) without addressing the chain of production that such oversights always lead to a perpetuation of the criminal element within the economy. I am not trying to downplay the importance of cannabis’ medical utility; it is a very useful medicinal plant, and given our current laws, medical users should get first shot. But there is no reason to assume that we should stop there. Ultimately, cannabis is a commodity, and when there is a demand for a commodity, that commodity will be produced. The only way to reduce the harms from it are to legalize and regulate the production and distribution processes.

  5. Point of View on

    The good doctor is doing God’s work and making a profit at the same time. A medicinal user can save the $250.00 in the first month.
    Where there is a demand there is a supply in a Capitalist society. The Pharmaceuticals are no stranger to this. They are dangerous drug dealers, sanctioned by our government.

  6. Anonymous on

    who the troll is, it’s this one.

  7. Anonymous on

    whata pice of shit this guy is, the pateint and the dr. im a licensed grower. never p[aid for my license, it was approved by dr cause of my traumtic brain injury……..to the guy that was on the news, YOUR A FUCKING RAT AND A GOOF, WHY WOULD YOU TALK TO THE MEDIA FOR, JUST ANOTHER PIECE OF SHIT ABUSING THE MMAR SYSTEM , and good people like me that are legit are gonna lose our licenses in the end cause of IECES OF SHIT LIKE THIS RAT………and thats what he is a rat , talks to the media. what a goof

  8. Anonymous on

    When government throws patients to the wolves that are these doctors who charge a percentage of income just to put their signature on a piece of paper, costing them hundreds to thousands of dollars just to be able to access what the need legally, then it creates the breeding grounds for those who would be inclined to make up that absurd cost via the available means.

    As such, it is government designed justification for removing their rights. Basically giving them a knife, forcing them to stab themselves, and then using it against them to ban all knives that aren’t sold and manufactured by government.

    But they can’t do it alone. They need stories like this form puppet media to drive it home. Good job, puppets.

  9. Anonymous on

    Wow imagine that. This little series of theirs very rapidly devolved from feigning a damn about patients to a justification of removing their rights in support of the proposed health canada commercialization.

    Next they’ll discover that these growers supplied the self serving “compassion” clubs, that it doesn’t just grow wild on trees. Imagine that.

    Notice how both media and government conflate the purpose of distribution. You’re a criminal if you distribute it to someone with cancer, PTSD or depression, who it greatly helps, because you’re supporting mexican drug cartels..? Makes sense right.

    Yet, government doesn’t mind supporting those mexican drug cartels in their places.

  10. joe on

    How many persciption do doctors wright for pills each year.

  11. Dave on

    Better we get our medicine from good criminals than bad ones with guns. Either way, we’re willing to pay a premium for their risk. So go ahead and take out the good ones, they’re easy, that’ll make room for the bad ones to flourish. Then every bully can feed equally from the trough of prohibition.

    Pot is in high demand, being a dealer is easy. Gardening is the difficult part of what this guy does. Calling him a dealer rather than a gardener shows the reporter’s bully bias.