For many in the medical marijuana sector, there is a fear that the industry will lose patients once recreational marijuana becomes legal. However, some experts within the industry foresee a completely different trend.
According to Daniel Fattah, the founder and managing director of the Ontario-based Cannabis Treatment Clinic (CTClinic), the medical market will still need to exist for the elderly patients who need help and support with the medication. He doesn’t see it going anywhere after legalization of the recreational sector in the summer of 2018.
“There won’t be much competition between the medical sector and recreational sector,” he said. “The medical sector is filled with many geriatric population, and I don’t think they’d like to purchase their medication from LCBO. They would want a guided way to use it.”
That’s where clinics like the CTClinic comes in, essentially providing services to help patients navigate the complex medical industry. According to Statistics Canada, baby boomers are the ones mostly using marijuana.
Fattah also believes medical marijuana will be covered by insurance companies in the future, making it more accessible to patients.
So far, medical marijuana in Canada doesn’t have any Drug Identification Number (DIN). DIN is needed for any drug to be covered.
Fattah believes insurance companies are now in the process of giving medical cannabis a DIN. This will ease the price of medical cannabis, he added.
More recreational users to switch
The clinic’s founder also expects that more recreational users would then switch over to medical cannabis sector.
“I don’t see there being a direct competition between the two sectors because they are very different and can use utilized for very different purposes.”
He says medical cannabis will be more focused on cannabidiol (CBD), the main therapeutic component of marijuana and the recreational market will be more focused on tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the component that causes psychoactive effects, rendering two different services to users.