Medical marijuana dispensaries are not new in Canada. In fact, they aren’t even legal. But that is not stopping people from opening them, and two new dispensaries will appear in the Maritimes in Canada.
The first new medical marijuana dispensary is already open in St. John’s, New Brunswick. It has been opened in the Churchill Park area and is owned by Dr. Danial Schecter. Schecter already owns four other dispensaries where people can purchase medical marijuana in other areas of Canada.
CBC said about the medical marijuana dispensaries, “The St. John’s Cannabinoid Clinic opened Wednesday in the Terrace in the Square building. It’s part of a chain of five similar clinics that first opened in Ontario.”
In this clinic, patients are seen on a referral basis only and one of three doctors, including Dr. Schecter, will consult with patients to ensure that medical marijuana is a good option for them.
Dr. Schecter says that medical marijuana can provide relief and a more functional life for patients that are living with chronic pain.
The second clinic is not open yet, but Craig Gaudet hopes to open the first medical marijuana clinic in Summerside, PEI. He would like to see it open and running by April. Gaudet has already been providing medical marijuana to those who need it but hopes that his dispensary will make it easier for people who need it to get access to it.
When CBC spoke to Gaudet about medical marijuana he said the following.
“I really want to help more people. Our patients are having to travel from end to end on the Island just to be able to get their treatments and get their medications. We can’t even buy medications here on the Island, we have to send away and get it through the mail.”
Like the St. John’s clinic, Gaudet plans to do more than just provide medical marijuana. His clinic will have people on staff that consult with patients to make sure that this is the best option for them. They will also help people who need it apply for the proper licensing and understanding of their options.
The costs of medical marijuana vary between $2 to $15 per day and rarely produces the high that is typically associated with marijuana.
Health Canada says that medical marijuana dispensaries are not actually legal in Canada at the time. There has been many dispensaries and clinics that have opened up in Canada over the past 20 years or so though, and police tend to overlook them as long as they are not causing trouble in the neighborhoods. This is called “priority policing.”
— Best Medicines (@BMC_Patients) March 15, 2016
However, just last month, CTV reported that medical marijuana laws are changing, saying, “A Federal Court judge has struck down the law barring medical users from obtaining marijuana outside of licensed producers, saying it violates their charter rights.” Under this ruling, it means that people who have a license to use medical marijuana can even grow it in their own homes. This ruling is also one of the reasons that Gaudet is opening his own dispensary.
In Vancouver, Canada, there is currently a by-law that will regulate marijuana retailers for medical purposes.
Clinical trials and research have supported evidence that marijuana can provide relief for people with various conditions. The Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse says that when marijuana is used for medical reasons it can help with some types of pain relief, nausea and vomiting, and appetite.
There is still a significant amount of research to be done but Canadians may be able to look forward to a safer and easier way to get access to medical marijuana in the near future.
[Photo by David Lucas/Getty Images]