FAQ's For Patient/Caregiver

Am I getting a licensed card to carry my medical cannabis?

Patients may possess up to 30 times the daily quantity of dried medical cannabis specified in their medical document or up to 150 grams (whichever is less). In accordance with the ACMPR, a patient’s proof of authorization to possess medical cannabis is the client specific label with their details on each of their bottles and an appropriate piece of photo identification to demonstrate legal possession. Therefore, we are no longer required to supply our patients with a Patient ID card, and they are no longer required to carry one.

Are prescription cannabinoids and medical cannabis covered by OHIP and private insurance?

Some prescription cannabinoids (such as Nabilone) are covered by OHIP and private insurance companies. Medical cannabis is currently not covered by OHIP. Several private insurance companies do offer coverage for medical cannabis under specific conditions. If you have private insurance or deal with Veterans Affairs our physicians can help with applying for coverage.

Are there daily amount and duration restrictions under ACMPR?

Various surveys published in peer-reviewed literature have suggested that the majority of people using inhaled or orally ingested cannabis for medical purposes reported using approximately 1-3 grams of cannabis per day. In our experience, most patients will receive maximum benefit from using less than 1 gram a day. There is a possession cap of the less than 150 grams or 30 times the prescribed daily amount. Additionally, medical documents can be written for no longer than 12 months at one time, though this is rare.

Can I continue taking my current medications?

Please ensure that we are aware of all medications that you are currently taking. Unless advised otherwise, you should continue to take your current medications. Over time, you may find that you can reduce use of other medications as the cannabis product becomes part of your routine. For example, you may be able to take less ibuprofen for pain. Please do not stop any medications unless advised to do so.

Can I drive after taking my medical cannabis medication?

It depends on the treatment you have been prescribed. Your health practitioner will determine this at your appointment. As a rule of thumb, don’t drive while feeling intoxicated.

Can I legally purchase medical cannabis from a dispensary?

No. Health Canada and the Accesses to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations (ACMPR) stipulate that medical cannabis can only be sold by a registered Licensed Producer (LP).

Can I register with more than one LP?

Your medical document, similar to a traditional prescription, may only be used to register with one Licensed Producer. If you wish to register with another Licensed Producer due to product availability, you can request an additional medical document or may cancel your registration with the original Licensed Producer and send the original medical document to a new Licensed Producer.

Can I travel with my medical cannabis?

Traveling with medical cannabis is permitted within Canada. Be sure to carry your registration documentation and store your cannabis in its original prescription bottle. If you’re flying, call the airline ahead of time to ensure you won’t run into any security delays.

Can the doctor see me remotely?

Yes. we use Ontario Telemedicine Network (OTN) to facilitate secure web visits for patients in Ontario. We can send you a secure link to join an appointment with the doctor.

Do I need a doctor’s referral?

No, you do not need a referral to see our doctors. However, we do accept referrals as they can provide greater clarity on the medical condition. With your permission, we can also send a request to your family physician to release any relevant medical information for your assessment.

Do your physicians support the option to grow my own medical cannabis?

Our physicians do not support the option to grow at this time. It is difficult to monitor and collect information in regard to dosing as the product is not tested by Health Canada. Products from licensed producers are made to be consistent and more effective compared to what can be grown on your own.

Does cannabis have an expiry date?

Until regulations change with Health Canada, the ACMPR does not require an expiry date to be included on bottles of medical cannabis . More information to follow as it becomes available.

Does medical cannabis have a DIN?

Pharmacological cannabinoids such as Sativex® (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol-cannabidiol) and Cesamet® (nabilone) have been approved for specific indications by Health Canada, however herbal medical cannabis has not gone through Health Canada’s drug review and approval process, nor does it have a Drug Identification Number (DIN) or Natural Product Number (NPN).

How can I consume medical cannabis?

Patients can use dried cannabis in a variety of ways. Patients may choose to vaporize, smoke, or make edibles and teas with their medical cannabis. Cannabis oil can be applied directly under the tongue or incorporated into various recipes.

How do I book an appointment online?

You can book online by clicking on the link provided on the website.

You can have your referring physician complete the form and fax us.

You can also book an appointment by calling us.

How do I know your medical cannabis is safe/chemical free?

At NorthCann Medz, the health and safety of our patients is our top priority. We hold ourselves to the highest quality standards, including above and beyond what is currently mandated for our industry.

How do I obtain a prescription for medical cannabis?

It’s best to speak to your physician about why you want to try medical cannabis. If your physician is not comfortable prescribing medical cannabis, contact our Patient Care team for a complete list of prescribing physicians in your area.

How do I obtain accessories for medical cannabis?

Most licensed producers sell accessories to help in the effective use of your prescription. Oftentimes, licensed producers will offer you discounts on these accessories when placing an order with them.

How long after my appointment can I order my medication?

After your appointment with us, please give our office 1-2 business days to send your prescription along with any other required documents to the Licensed Producer.

How long after seeing the doctor it will take me to get my cannabis?

This will depend on a number of factors including the current volume of referrals at your selected licensed producer. Traditionally it can take anywhere from 5-7 business days to fully process your registration.

How Long Will It Take For Me To Get My Medication?

Once a nurse practitioner at of Cannabis Clinic has assessed you, it typically takes up to 3-5 business days to receive your medication from your medical cannabis provider. Next day service can be made available.

How long will my appointment be?

Your appointment length may vary depending on the nature of the visit. Most physician consultations are roughly 30 minutes. If prescribed, you will also see a patient educator which could be up to 20 minutes. Follow up appointments are generally significantly shorter. We recommend allowing between 1 hour to 1 ½ hours for your appointment.

How Much Does Medical Cannabis Cost?

The cost of medical cannabis varies with each individual. Patients are paying anywhere from $150-$300/month on average for their medicine.

How much medical cannabis can I possess?

Patients may possess a one month’s supply of cannabis or 150 grams, whichever is less.

How Will I Receive My Medication?

Your medication will be discreetly shipped to you directly from a Health Canada approved medical cannabis provider.

I don’t see my doctor regularly, who do I contact if I need help with my cannabis treatment?

That’s ok, whether you see them often or not, your doctor is responsible for your medical cannabis treatment. We recommend making an appointment 3 months in advance of when your medical document expires to make sure you don’t have a gap in your care.

I need to see a specialist. How can I do this?

You will need to see your family doctor and request a referral to see a specialist. Don’t have a family doctor? You can also do this within your local walk-in medical clinic.

If I live in a temporary dwelling, am I eligible to use medical cannabis?

Yes, you are eligible to use medical cannabis. However, the facility or home where you are living may have prohibitions. Therefore, you must verify with the facility if using medical cannabis is permitted and under what circumstances or conditions

Is Medical Cannabis Addictive?

Research has shown the overall addiction potential of cannabis to be less than for caffeine, tobacco, and alcohol. (any references for this?)

Is medical cannabis covered by Health Care benefits?

Currently, medical cannabis is not covered by most insurance plans. However, medical cannabis may be claimed as a medical expense for tax purposes.

Is Medical Cannabis Covered By My Health Plan Or Private Insurance?

Some insurance companies do offer medical cannabis coverage. These are considered on a case-by-case basis.

Is medical cannabis legal in Canada?

Yes, medical cannabis is legal in Canada for patients who receive authorization from a physician or nurse practitioner.

Is medical cannabis right for me?

Your family physician will help you determine if medical cannabis is the correct approach for your medical condition. If your family physician is not comfortable prescribing medical cannabis for you, or giving you a referral to our clinic, please contact us and we can assist your further.

Is my confidentiality protected?

Absolutely! We will not disclose patient information to others unless we receive specific written request from the patient. Patient information is stored electronically on secure servers and paper files are kept locked when not in use.

Is the Clinic Walk-In?

No. All patients must be screened prior to booking an appointment at Cannabis Clinic.

Is there a charge/fee to see the Cannabis Educator?

No. Education sessions with our Cannabis Educators are provided free-of-charge.

Is there a charge/fee to see the doctor?

No. All visits are covered by the Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP).

Is there an age limit for being prescribed Medical Cannabis?

Our clinic does not have a minimum age requirement for our patients. Patients under 25 years of age will require parental consent and a different appointment process. Please give us a call if you would like more information.

What are different forms of medical cannabis?

Dried Cannabis-Can be consumed orally or by inhalation (vaporizing). The route of administration will depend on physician recommendation and availability through the licensed producer.

Cannabis Oil-Can be consumed orally (under the tongue) or mixed with food. Cannabis oils, provided by licensed producers, cannot be vaporized due to the carrier oils used.

What are the benefits?

We are aware that the follow-up delays at our clinic can be long. Now you will not need to have appointments with a specialized clinic or more than one health care institution for your needs.

What are the legal sources of medical cannabis?

The only legal access to medical cannabis in Canada is through Health Canada Licensed Producers, Some Canadians still have a personal production license, which grants them authorization to produce medical cannabis for personal use

What are the most common conditions medical cannabis is prescribed for?

Medical cannabis is commonly used by patients who are experiencing the following symptoms:

  • Severe pain and/or persistent muscle spasms from multiple sclerosis (MS).

  • Severe pain and/or persistent muscle spasms from a spinal cord injury

  • Severe pain and/or persistent muscle spasms from a spinal cord disease

  • Severe pain, cachexia, anorexia, weight loss, and/or severe nausea from cancer

  • Severe pain, cachexia, anorexia, weight loss, and/or severe nausea from HIV/AIDS infection

What Are The Possible Side Effects Of Medical Cannabis?

Information on side effects for therapeutic use of medical cannabis is limited. Some known side effects include euphoria, intoxication-like effects, dizziness, drowsiness, impaired memory, disorientation, dry mouth, and rapid heartbeat. This is not a complete list. If you or your loved one who is using medical cannabis experiences anything unexpected after using medical cannabis, please have them call 911 (if it is an emergency) or use our secure O Cannabis patient portal to consult with our healthcare team.

What does the product label mean when it shows Actual vs. Potential?

This is a label change only and does not indicate a change to the products’ potency. The actual potency (THC and CBD) is the percentage of cannabinoids that the dried flower possesses as it occurs in its original dried state (i.e. – if you were to consume a dried cannabis bud without heating it). In order to activate the full potency potential of the cannabinoids (THC, THCa and CBD, CBDa) dried cannabis flower must be decarboxylated.

What Happens After A Patient Gets A Cannabis Prescription?

Cannabis Clinic’s team of healthcare professionals helps our patients navigate the confusing path to get connected to the best Health Canada approved medical cannabis provider for their condition. Our patient advocates ensure that our patients get the best medicine for the best price.

What Happens After My First Visit?

We have a very comprehensive follow-up and monitoring plan for our patients, to ensure you have a comfortable experience on your medical cannabis journey. We provide you with an educational session following your initial visit and are available to answer any questions you may have.

What If I Am A Canadian Veteran Or First Responder?

Medical cannabis for Canadian Veterans and RCMP Officers is typically covered by insurance.

What if I can’t afford the purchase of the product?

Start by ensuring you do not have a medical expense component in your health insurance plan that may be able to cover some costs. Next, find out if the licensed producer you are interested in has a compassionate pricing program. Many licensed producers offer up to 25% off for low-income patients. Talk to your cannabis counsellor if you need assistance exploring cost-effective options.

What If I Don't Want To Smoke Medical cannabis?

Excellent! We highly recommend that you consume your medical cannabis by using a vaporizer, taking it in oil form or pill form. Smoking dry cannabis flower produces carcinogens. Please consult with your nurse practitioner for more information or speak to our Cannabis Educators for the latest and greatest medication delivery methods.

What if I don’t have a family doctor?

Don’t worry: your referring doctor is able to manage your cannabis treatment.

What if my doctor refuses to prescribe cannabis?

Please let us know and we will contact your doctor to help with the transition process.

What If My Physician Won’t refer me to have medical cannabis?

If your physician is reluctant to complete a referral form and you have exhausted all other alternatives, please contact us to assist you in connecting you with a medical practitioner.

What is a Licensed Producer (LP)?

A Licensed Producer (LP) is a company regulated by Health Canada that can legally produce and sell medical cannabis to patients in Canada.

What is medical Cannabis

The term “medical cannabis” is used to describe products derived from the whole cannabis plant or its extracts containing a variety of active cannabinoids and terpenes, which patients take for medical reasons, after interacting with and obtaining authorization from their health care practitioner.

What is the difference between dried cannabis and cannabis oil?

Along with the differing ingestion methods, cannabis oil is processed by the body differently than dried cannabis. This results in a gradual onset of effects in comparison to smoking or vaporizing dried cannabis. Patients report experiencing the effects of cannabis oil for a longer duration than smoked or vaporized dried cannabis.

What is the legal age to obtain a medical cannabis prescription?

According to Health Canada, a patient must be at least 18 years of age to receive medical cannabis. However, most of the medical literature has recommended against the use of cannabis in individuals younger than 25 years. At CannaMed Clinic, we still take a case-by-case approach to determine if medical cannabis may be appropriate.

What is your cancellation policy?

If a patient wishes to cancel or re-book their appointment it must be done so within 1 full week prior to their appointment date. Failure to cancel or re-book within this time period will subject you to a non-refundable charge. Cancellations and re-bookings can only be done by speaking to our staff in person or by telephone. E-mails and voice mails will not be accepted. No exceptions.

What Will I Need for My First Visit?

All documentation that Cannabis Clinic has asked you to complete. Your free consultation will go over these in details.

Where Do I Fill My Prescription?

We help all of our patients who receive a Medical Document, order their medical cannabis from the most suitable Health Canada approved medical cannabis provider.

Who Can Get A Cannabis Prescription?

Once a patient is assessed by one of the nurse practitioners and it is determined that the patient is a suitable candidate for medical cannabis, a Medical Document will be sent to a Health Canada approved medical cannabis provider on the patient's behalf.

Who has access to the patient’s registry list?

Health Canada will maintain a confidential list of “qualified patients” and “approved caregivers” to whom the department has issued registry identification cards. Individual names and other identifying information on the list must be confidential and are not subject to disclosure, except to:

(a) authorized employees of the department as necessary to perform official duties of the department; or

(b) authorized employees of state or local law enforcement agencies, only as necessary to verify that a person is a lawful possessor of a registry identification card.

Why can’t I go to a pharmacy to fill my prescription for medical cannabis?

Pharmacies can only dispense medications “prescribed” by licensed physicians. The federal government classifies medical cannabis as a Schedule I drug, which means licensed physicians cannot prescribe it.

Why was my file transferred to my regular doctor?

If you are being transferred back to your doctor, it means that you are in control and have been managing your treatment and symptoms well. Your primary care doctor can now be confident in monitoring your cannabis treatment as a part of your overall healthcare needs.

Will my care change?

It should get even better. With your doctor in charge of your cannabis treatment, you will have quicker and easier follow-up of your ALL health issues with someone who knows you well.

Will your Doctor sign additional prescriptions, paperwork or take me on as a long-term patient?

No, we only handle ACMPR applications. However, we can assist you with your renewal.