How the New Medical Marijuana Rules Will Punish Patients

There have been numerous discussions surrounding the anticipated “billion dollar” medical marijuana industry. The new federal regulations – the Marihuana for Medical Purposes Regulations (MMPR) – are juxtaposed against the smaller “cottage industry” fostered by the old program, the Medical Marihuana Access Regulations (MMAR), where about 4,200 third-party growers could produce for a maximum of two people each.

By April 1, 2014, the only legal source to obtain medical marijuana in Canada will be through licensed producers (LPs), companies authorized by Health Canada to produce and distribute marijuana to those with valid prescriptions.

We’ve heard far less about the problematic effects these regulations will have on patients – many will be unable to afford their medication and will lose personalized and effective strains for their conditions, coupled with treatment concerns over the legal allowance of only “dried” forms of marijuana.

Under the new regulations, patients will lose their right to cultivate their own medication. Buyers could see price increases from $1-$5 per gram to a projected $7-$12 per gram – an unaffordable increase for many patients. In Ontario, for example, medicinal marijuana is not covered by a public drug plan, and is rarely covered by private insurers. For many with prescribed amounts of anywhere between one to 10 grams per day to manage their symptoms, this systemically bars a large segment of the most vulnerable population from their medication.

– Read the entire article at The Globe and Mail.

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