What is a medical cannabis card?
A medical cannabis card is more accurately called a Medical Document, which can be thought of as a medical cannabis prescription. This prescription, required by Health Canada, allows you to access medical cannabis directly from a licensed producer (LP). A doctor or, in some provinces, a nurse practitioner completes a referral form and sends it to your licensed producer of choice. It authorizes your use of medical cannabis and must be renewed based on the length of time your practitioner prescribes for you, up to twelve months. Like most medications, your healthcare practitioner wants to follow up after a few months to ensure you are taking the correct dose to best manage your symptoms.
Some licensed producers also provide a medical cannabis card with your delivered medicine which shows that you are a registered customer who has submitted a valid Medical Document. The card usually contains your name, address, other identifying information, your customer number, and the amount of medical cannabis (in grams) that you are allowed to order. This card can be useful to validate your possession limit for medical cannabis.
Do you actually need a medical card (Medical Document) to purchase in Canada?
No. Cannabis products can be bought at retail outlets and from online suppliers.
However, there are benefits to accessing medical cannabis, including receiving medical guidance for your condition, it is tax deductible as medication, and many LPs offer compassionate pricing to help with costs. These are a few reasons why someone would prefer the medical channel over retailers. Medical cannabis is a personalized medication and Apollo can help you with product selection, dosing, prescription fulfillment and answer any questions you may have. Plus, the appointments are free of charge.
To apply for a medical cannabis card in Canada, you need to make an appointment with a healthcare practitioner who will prescribe medical cannabis.
How do you get one? What does the physical Medical Document look like?
The easiest way to get a medical cannabis card online is by setting up an appointment here. Apollo will submit the Medical Document on your behalf to the LP you choose and you will fill your prescription directly with that licensed producer. As mentioned, some LPs will provide you with a physical card to carry but all you need to carry as proof that you’re a medical patient is a receipt of your purchased medicine.
What happens when my Medical Document or prescription expires?
Your Medical Document, filled out and signed by a doctor, is valid for the duration of your prescription up to 12 months. At that point, it needs to be renewed and submitted to your licensed producer.
What are the benefits of having a medical cannabis prescription in Canada?
There are many benefits to having your medical cannabis prescribed by a doctor. Medical cannabis is prescribed to treat specific conditions and symptoms. Your doctor and educator can provide a personalized treatment plan that gives you advice on which strains to buy, the correct dose and method of administration (e.g., whether to vaporize or take an edible oil), and potential side effects.
Medical cannabis is covered by some health plans for some conditions and many licensed producers offer compassionate pricing to their medical customers. Those with a prescription can claim their purchases as a medical expense on their income tax returns. And, as a medical cannabis patient, your prescription allows you to take your medication as needed, including most places outside your home.
Why should I get a medical cannabis card (Medical Document) to purchase medical cannabis?
You will need to get a medical cannabis card, otherwise known as a Medical Document, before you can buy medical cannabis. It’s a prescription that your doctor fills out and sends to your licensed producer.
Having a Medical Document, and being a medical cannabis patient, means you will get personalized support from your doctor for your condition or symptoms. They will advise you about which strains to buy, how much to take, and what format you should use. Having a prescription may also lead to product savings, reduced income taxes, and reimbursement from your insurance provider.