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Papers: 1 Jul 2023 - 7 Jul 2023


2023 Jul 04

J Cannabis Res




Why a distinct medical stream is necessary to support patients using cannabis for medical purposes.


Costiniuk C, MacCallum CA, Boivin M, Rueda S, Lacasse G, Walsh Z, Daeninck PJ, Margolese S, Mandarino E, Deol JK, Sanchez T, Bell AD


Since 2001, Canadians have been able to obtain cannabis for medical purposes, initially through the Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations (ACMPR). The Cannabis Act (Bill C-45) came into force on October 17, 2018, replacing the ACMPR. The Cannabis Act enables Canadians to possess cannabis purchased from a licensed retailer without authorization for either medical or nonmedical purposes. The Cannabis Act is currently the guiding legislation which governs both medical and nonmedical access. The Cannabis Act contains some improvements for patients but is essentially the same as its previous legislation. Beginning in October 2022, the federal government is conducting a review of the Cannabis Act and is questioning whether a distinct medical cannabis stream is still required, given the ease of access to cannabis and cannabis products. Although there is overlap in the reasons for medical and recreational cannabis use, the distinct legislation of medical versus recreational use of cannabis in Canada may be under threat.