Medical Vs. Recreational Cannabis in Canada

*Please check your provincial laws as certain things such as possession limits and where you can consume cannabis vary by province to province.
*LP stands for Licensed Producer. These LP’s are Health Canada certified to grow and sell cannabis and follow strict health and safety guidelines.

 

Question

Medical

Recreational

What is it?

Medical cannabis is prescribed by a doctor to treat specific health conditions and symptoms such as pain, sleep issues, stress or anxiety.

Recreational cannabis is taken by a person for enjoyment rather than for medical, health or wellness reasons.

Medical Advice & Treatment Support

Our patients all receive a personalized treatment plan to ensure that they are most successful. This includes strain advice, dosing recommendations, follow-ups and support.

Retail staff at recreational stores are legally unable and unqualified to give medical, strain or dosing advice.

Where you can purchase

Medical cannabis is ordered online and mailed directly to the patient from a Health Canada approved Licensed Producer, there is no middle supplier.

As of October 17, 2018, you can buy cannabis for recreational use online and in some provinces, in stores. This process has several middle suppliers.

Cost

Certain LP’s are committed to ensuring patients have access to affordable medicine. Medicinal cannabis is often less expensive than recreational for better quality.

Recreational cannabis is often more expensive and is subject to an additional excise tax of 10% or $1 per gram.

Insurance Coverage

Some insurance companies are starting to cover medical cannabis more now on a case by case basis. It is also becoming commonplace for patients to be able to use their healthcare spending account (reimburseable expenses) towards their prescribed medicinal cannabis as well.

Recreational cannabis is paid for out-of-pocket and is not eligible for insurance coverage.

Discounts

Some LP’s offer compassionate pricing. This discount is usually 10-30% off the price of the medicine. Eligibility could include low income, disability, CPP and others.

LPs also offer promotions.

There are no proposed discounts for recreational cannabis.

Tax Deductible

Medical Cannabis is tax-deductible as a medical expense. Your medical cannabis receipts can be found on your LP’s website under your account and can be submitted when doing your taxes.

Recreational cannabis is not eligible for a tax deduction.

Supply

LP’s always look to provide their product to their medical patients first before anything is released to their recreational lines. They are committed to ensuring their patients have a guaranteed supply.

There may be shortages from certain companies or strands as the market is always adjusting to new laws and consumer demand.

Limits possession

Medical Cannabis patients are allowed to possess 30x their daily prescription limit or up to a maximum of 150 grams, whichever is less.

The limit for purchasing and possessing recreational cannabis is 30 grams in public.

Where you can consume

Medical Cannabis patients are free to take their medicine as needed, in public, in public within Canada, as long as they comply with local smoke-free laws. It’s also important to note most employers list that any form of intoxication inside the workplace is prohibited, so CBD only may more acceptable during the daytime for some patients. Always feel free to discuss your medical options with your employer or HR rep.

Recreational cannabis consumption varies by province & municipality. Some provinces like Quebec have implemented stricter laws on public cannabis use and age limit of purchase.

Quality Control

Each batch is tested by Health Canada standards to ensure you are getting the exact product, quality, and percentages that you expect in your cannabis and order.

If you buy from the illicit market, you don’t know where your products came from, where it’s grown for your health and safety, and if it is going to be the right strains to help with your conditions you are trying to help.