As a Natural Health Services’ patient, you may have noticed a thing or two to be thankful for since last month’s legalization. You may have your own personal reasons for choosing to be a medical cannabis patient despite the emerging recreational market. The following are a few more!
- Access to a doctor’s opinion on what to expect. This can include whether there is new research or there are potential interactions. You also have access to knowledgeable advice through your NHS Educators.
- As a patient, you do have access to both medicinal and recreational streams. Whatever you may purchase in a store is separate from your medicinal allotment.
- You can claim cannabis as a medical expense on your income tax, if purchased through your Licensed Producer. Simply print the receipts from your LP patient portal and add to other prescriptions. Receipts from recreational stores do not qualify.
- When is comes to rights like: possession rights, tenants rights, number of plants growing inside or out rights, you have more latitude and are better protected as a medical cannabis patient. For instance, while you are able to be in possession of 30 grams recreationally, as a medical patient you can carry 30 times your daily gram amount up to 150 grams. Always have the paperwork for both if carrying more than 30 grams.
- You may be better protected when it comes to tenants rights, although you always need to check your lease.
- Depending on your municipal bylaws, you have more choices about where you are able to medicate as a patient.
- In terms of growing at home, while most provinces now allow for 4 plants recreationally, a medicinal patient can apply for a license to grow many more than that (5 plants x daily gram amount for inside and 2 plants x daily gram amount outside).
- You have an opportunity to establish relationships with your favourite licensed producer(s), or LP(s). You can talk to their customer service people by phone or email, get to know their strains, and feel assured that many LPs have promised consistent stock for patients. Some LP’s even have public tours, so you can see first hand how your cannabis was produced.
- Medical cannabis, on the whole, is more economical. Add to this, the dollar a gram excise tax is currently being absorbed by many licensed producers. While this may not be sustainable long term, patient and LPs are lobbying the government to not tax medical cannabis. #donttaxmedicine
- With employers’ authorization, private health insurance companies are taking steps to cover medicinal cannabis expenses for certain medical conditions. To date, some insurance companies are covering cannabis in cases of epilepsy, MS, and chemo induced nausea and vomiting (CINV) to name a few. Health spending accounts can also potentially cover cannabis costs.
- Your NHS doctor can provide a general letter to your employer that you are using cannabis for medical purposes.
- Some licensed producers offer compassionate pricing to those with an income under a certain amount. For instance, a 20% off consideration is sometimes made for those making under $30,000. Ask your cannabis educator for relevant LPs.
- Some licensed producers will allow for 20% off to veterans, seniors and first responders. Ask your NHS educator which LPs can offer this.
As specialized medical professionals and educators, we are happy to share your cannabis journey with you!
— Kait Shane, Community Outreach Educator Natural Health Services. Follow Natural Health Services on Twitter @NatHealthserve.
For further insight into all things cannabis, don’t forget to check out The Cannabis Show (new episodes every Wednesday) and connect with us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. The Cannabis Show is also available as an audio podcast, subscribe on iTunes, Google Play, Stitcher, TuneIn, and Overcast.