How to Apply for Medical Marijuana
It is important to have full knowledge of the process and forms you need to complete in order to be licensed by Health Canada to receive Medical Marijuana.
Talk to your Doctor
The first step you need to take is getting the understanding and support from your doctor. When you approach your doctor about receiving Medical Marijuana you should consider the following things:
- Specifically identify the issues with your health that you feel can be better met with cannabis.
- Be prepared to tell your doctor how you are using (or plan to use) cannabis to alleviate your symptoms. Your doctor will want to understand how you are using cannabis, for example smoking it or eating it, and also how much and how frequently do you use cannabis and what effect is it having on your symptoms. Be ready to tell your doctor how cannabis is alleviating your symptoms and tell your doctor how much cannabis you use in terms of grams per day.
- Prepare a detailed list of medications and forms of therapy that you’ve tried to relieve these symptoms and identify what has and hasn’t worked for you.
- See if your doctor would consider signing the Release Form For a Medical Practitioner for the Canadian Medical Protective Association (CMPA). Although this is not a Health Canada form and is not necessary to obtain an authorization to possess Medical Marijuana, signing the form may help remove some of your doctor’s concerns about liability as the CMPA is the medical professional’s insurer.
- Many doctors and health professionals may insist that all other mainstream drugs and pharmaceuticals for your medical condition are tried first before prescribing medical marijuana.
Completing the Forms
All the forms, which you need to apply, are listed clearly on Health Canada’s site.
The job of your doctor is to assist you in determining the size of your prescription and to complete the forms that are required by Health Canada. Based on the Category of your eligibility your doctor will help you fill in either Form A and either Form B1 or B2.
If the application is to possess cannabis for medical purposes then Form A and Form B must be filled out, however, if the application to grow your own medicinal marijuana as well as possess it for medical purposes then Forms A, B, C, (and E if applicable) must be filled out. If your application is to possess medical marijuana but have another person grow it for you then Forms A, B, D (and E if applicable) must be filled out.
The application must also contain two passport-sized photographs that will be used on identification cards issued to the applicants allowed to possess medical marijuana. The card can then be used to prove the legal right of the cardholder to poses marijuana for medical purposes. Health Canada acknowledges the receipt of applications within 10 days and informs the applicant of any further information that may be required. The applications of patients with terminal illnesses are given priority processing.
The processing times for applications are dependent on the nature of the applicant’s medical condition and can take up to 10 weeks to process. It can speed up the application process to submit forms from a designated grower along with your application if possible. Approved applicants are notified in writing.