Canada’s medical cannabis program has been going strong in its offerings to patients since its initial inception in 2001.
Accessing medical cannabis allows patients to claim cannabis as a medical expense on their taxes and can also be reimbursed by some medical insurance programs. Medical cannabis documentation also allows patients to directly connect with specialized inventory from their producer while using cannabis under the guidance of a qualified healthcare practitioner. This documentation also provides important legal protection for the user.
While the medical cannabis program has been absorbed under The Cannabis Act, and is still moving forward with many benefits for medical cannabis users, it still remains a largely underutilized program.
The most recent Health Canada statistics show that at the end of September 2019, 369,614 medical documents were registered with Licensed Producers, which isn’t a large increase compared to the 345,520 that were registered in the month pre-legalization.
Despite the legalization of recreational cannabis, the medical cannabis market in Canada has not wavered in its ability to provide quality cannabis at affordable prices to Canadians who are using cannabis for medical purposes. Yet, as the figures show, the medical cannabis program in Canada has a slow take-up in comparison to Canada’s eligible adult population.
Intending to bring patients back to the medical cannabis movement in Canada, Ontario’s JC Green has emerged as a new Licenced Producer with its medical cannabis brand called JC Medicinal. This brand has the objective to change the way Canadians perceive and access medical cannabis despite a growing recreational market.
Is it still beneficial to get your medical cannabis card (properly known as “medical cannabis documentation”) when recreational cannabis is now completely legal and easily accessible? It absolutely is for many reasons.
Claim as a Medical Expense on Taxes
Those who purchase medical cannabis can claim their cannabis as an allowable medical expense on their annual taxes that are filed with the Canada Revenue Agency. In order to do this, cannabis must be purchased from a Licenced Producer, the patient must have up-to-date practitioner documentation, and all receipts must be kept. Those who hold the ACMPR growing designation can also expense the cost of seeds, but not the cost of growing materials.
It is important to know that there are limits to how much can be claimed as a medical expense. Generally, Canadian taxpayers can claim the total value of their medical expenses, minus either $2,268 or 3% of their total net income, whichever amount is less. It is advised that registered medical users consult their accountant or the CRA to be sure they’re clear on what can, and cannot, be claimed.
Direct Connection with Licensed Producers
Recreational cannabis users are limited to purchasing cannabis from their provincial retailer online, or at their local brick and mortar cannabis retail stores, and cannot purchase directly from producers. Within the recreational cannabis sales process, budtenders are limited to the amount of information that can compliantly be transmitted about a product and its effects. For medical users, however, the relationship between the consumer and the supplier is much more engaging and informative.
Medical users register directly with a Licensed Producer, such as JC Green, and are offered a suite of services that will help them maximize the benefits of their medical cannabis document via a Patient Services Team. A relationship is built between the consumer and the Patient Services Team to ensure that the patient is provided excellent service, adequate cannabis education, and accessible pricing when sourcing their medical cannabis.
Access to Medical Professionals
Having medical cannabis documentation allows patients to be monitored by a qualified health professional who oversees their documentation, consumption allowance, the effects of the products their consuming, and the efficacy of medical cannabis for their symptoms.
Consultations with one’s medical cannabis health practitioner allow patients to ask important questions while having someone tracking their progress each time their documentation is set to be renewed. It is also an open door, where patients are free to contact their medical cannabis clinic, or prescribing doctor, at any time if they have any questions or concerns about their medical cannabis documentation, products, or use.
Superior and Specialized Products
Some products and strains that are available on the medical market are not yet available to consumers in the recreational market. Most times, medical users are given access to strains and other products much more in advance than recreational users. For instance, popular British Columbia LP Broken Coast offers some great flower in both the recreational and medical markets, but for those who want to check out their capsules, they’ll have to obtain their medical cannabis documentation.
Strains for medical purposes have been cultivated with specific medicinal properties in mind, which show up in their cannabinoid profiles, THC content, and terpene profiles. These products are sold with the intent that individuals will find medicinal, not recreational, benefit from these products. JC Medicinal’s medical cannabis is cultivated with superior genetics, with a mission to grow and sell cannabis that increases the quality of life for all Canadians.
Marital & Custody Protection
In some unfortunate cases, parents who consume cannabis have faced legal troubles when it comes to custody battles, with some parents facing claims of “irresponsible use of cannabis”.
Obtaining and possessing medical documentation is a safeguard against any problems arising from cannabis use for medicinal purposes, and proves that the patient has taken every reasonable precaution to use cannabis safely, intentionally, and under the observation of a practitioner.
Compassionate Pricing Models
JC Medicinal is proud of the Compassionate Pricing models that underscore our dedication to community-based values that make medical cannabis accessible to all. Our Compassionate Pricing models seek to remove financial barriers for:
- Individuals with an annual income below $45,000 CAD
- Seniors (60 and over)
- First Responders
- Healthcare Providers & Educational Workers
- Indigenous Peoples
On March 25, we released an additional Compassionate Pricing Program targeted to those impacted in any way by COVID-19.
JC Medicinal’s Compassionate Pricing models are available on a case-by-case basis, with eligibility reviewed on an annual basis. Applicants may be asked to provide proof of eligibility.
Health Plan Coverage
While medical cannabis is yet to receive Drug Identification Numbers (DIN) a few select medical insurance companies provide coverage for medical cannabis. At present, these groups include, but are not limited to:
- SunLife Financial
- Great-West Life
- Green Shield
- Medavie Blue Cross
- Alberta Blue Cross
- SSQ Insurance
- RWAM Insurance
- OPSEU – Ontario Public Service Employees Union
- Veterans Affairs Canada
JC Medicinal works directly with these groups to ensure that their members are aware of our Compassionate Pricing models, and can seek out coverage programs that will accommodate their medical cannabis use.
Again, cannabis purchased under these programs must be purchased from a Health Canada LP, documentation must be up-to-date, and receipts must be kept to be eligible for reimbursement.
Compassionate Pricing Models
JC Medicinal cultivates premium quality cannabis products with superior genetics that are intended to represent a new-era for medical cannabis. To ensure new and existing patients can access JC Medicinal’s products, we partner with the cannabis clinic Karthia Medical Group.
Patients are assessed online by a qualified practitioner to get their medical cannabis documentation for free, and are supported by Karthia’s Patient Services Team to ensure they can access high-quality cannabis online at affordable prices from JC Medicinal and other LPs right to their doorstep.
More information about Karthia can be found at https://karthia.ca/, and the clinic can be accessed directly by calling 1-833-222-6777, or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. JC Medicinal’s superior quality products can be viewed at https://jcmedicinal.ca/products/.