With marijuana legalization set for July and sales likely to begin in August this year, many people have been speculating on the fate of the medical cannabis industry in Canada. Once legal, recreational cannabis will be widely available, so what need will patients have of licensed medical cannabis producers?
Patients who require medical cannabis should still consult with a doctor, especially one who specializes in this treatment option. Having an expert physician helping to manage your treatment can enable you to receive the best health outcomes. The physician will be involved in the circle of care with all other health providers you see to ensure the best treatment.
The licensing system for medical cannabis is sticking around, even after legalization.
Here are just a few reasons most medical cannabis patients will continue to fill their authorizations with a licensed medical cannabis producer.
1. Controlling Quality
Health Canada’s licensing system for medical cannabis came about partially from concern about quality. The decision to retain the system even after legalization was also driven by a desire to control the quality of medical cannabis in this country.
With a licensing system, authorities can oversee the production and quality of medical cannabis from a licensed medical cannabis producer.
2. Medical-Grade Cannabis
The quality of non-medical marijuana will also be controlled once legalization occurs to a large extent. What’s the difference between what a licensed medical cannabis producer produces and what’s going to be found from other vendors?
Only licensed producers will deal in medical-grade cannabis. This is higher quality and more tightly controlled because medical cannabis patients need to be able to rely on the product’s effectiveness. You need to know you’re getting the same quality of product each and every time.
While recreational users won’t notice or mind a little variation, medical cannabis patients rely on getting the same quality of product so they can effectively treat their conditions.
3. Compassion Pricing
Another reason most medical cannabis patients already turn to a licensed producer to fill their authorization is pricing. Many producers currently use a system of compassion pricing, meaning their prices accommodate the patient’s life circumstances. As a result, medical cannabis is usually very affordable.
Many people who already have an authorization or need one aren’t always able to afford high-priced medications. In fact, many of them have medical conditions that cause some degree of disability. Some are able to work, while others may not be. As a result, medication to treat a medical condition could be out of reach if it’s expensive.
Recreational users are more likely to have a little more cash on hand, so the market will be more likely to set prices based on demand. This could mean higher prices, especially for some strains.
4. Niche Products
Many medical marijuana patients also use products and strains that are going to be considered “niche” by most recreational users. While you might find your strain in a shop aimed at the recreational crowd, it’s just as likely you won’t.
A licensed producer has more leeway when it comes to determining which strains to grow and even which products to carry. CBD oil, for example, is unlikely to be a popular product with the recreational crowd, although many medical cannabis patients prefer it.
Licensed medical cannabis producers clearly have an important role to play in meeting the needs of patients who may find themselves out in the cold in the recreational market.
Perhaps the most important reason to turn to a licensed medical cannabis producer is trust. Most of the shops for the recreational crowd are going to end up like other retail environments: staffed by college students working for the summer. While there may be a few “experts” on hand, they’re not likely going to be licensed medical practitioners.
Licensed medical cannabis producers, on the other hand, are more likely to have trained medical staff or even a clinic operation. They’re going to cater to your needs, and you’re going to be able to trust them with your health. When you’re treating a health condition, that’s priceless.