Why it Still Makes Sense to Become a Medical Cannabis Patient Post Legalization
As the new dawn arrives, and we all rush to the Ontario Cannabis Store (OCS) to access our now legalized Cannabis products, it appears we’ve run into a few roadblocks, and the internet, once again, has spoken. The feedback we’ve been monitoring varies from elation to extreme disappointment, and everything in between. Some of the major concerns that seem to be culminating are…
- The Price: OCS Cannabis prices with excise tax and shipping are quickly approaching the $16.00 a gram mark.
- The Selection: The lack of Oils and Capsules available on the site have been underwhelming, to say the least.
- The Diversity: The lack of High CBD and Balanced Strains available for people who may be THC naive, but want to dip their toes in the water.
- The Wait: The 4-5 day shipping times due to volume.
How Becoming a Medical Cannabis Patient Can Help
Becoming a medical cannabis patient can address many of these concerns while bringing a wide range of additional benefits to the table. Canadian licensed producers typically have faster shipping times, a wider variety of products, and fantastic customer service. Additionally, the government offers access to different pricing models if you are a medical cannabis patient.
There should never be a cost to becoming a medical cannabis patient. Reputable clinics will never charge a patient for an appointment. If you are not paying for a prescription for an anti-inflammatory, then why would you pay for one for CBD? Also, any clinic worth its weight in weed will take all the time in the world to educate you on the benefits of cannabis as a medicine, and walk you through a suggested titration plan with various options to choose from. With 129 licensed producers on the market, it’s almost unethical to push someone down one conduit for their medicine.
Education has a huge role to play, in responsible consumption and enjoyment of life. Having a team of medical professionals and educators at your fingertips can ensure you to find that sweet spot, both medically and recreationally. Here are just a few of the reasons to reach out to your local clinic and see if you would qualify to become a medical cannabis patient.
Access to a larger selection of Flower and Oils
Monitoring the OCS site the past few days, we’ve noticed an enormous lack of selection. Carrying just 2 high CBD strains, and only a couple more balanced strains really gives the “THC Naive”, and CBD seeking customers a very limited selection. With the current number of licensed producers in Canada sitting at 129, becoming a medicinal cannabis patient allows you access to a much wider range of suppliers and a more robust strain selection.
As of today, the OCS is offering 5 oral THC and CBD sprays, with no ingestible oils or capsules. Taking CBD or THC as an oral spray is very hard to titrate, and can be difficult to achieve consistency in every dose. This makes it more difficult to consistently find your sweet spot. Other medical LPs carry various oils in an assortment of strengths to help you dose properly for your symptoms and needs, at a reasonable price, for various ailments.
Write off on your taxes
If you are using cannabis medicinally you can write off a portion of your scripts and starting materials on your taxes yearly. As quoted from the Aphria site…
“Both medical marijuana and marijuana seeds are on the list of eligible medical expenses for tax purposes. Since September 2015, Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) has deemed medical cannabis purchased under a prescription as an allowable medical expense for legal medical cannabis patients. In order for you to be eligible to claim your cannabis medicine as an expense, you must have all of the receipts and all purchases must be made from a legal and licensed medical cannabis producer such as Aphria.”
The Absorption of Excise Tax, Free shipping, and Additional Value Ads
Many LP’s have stood up to the excise tax on medicinal cannabis and are absorbing the cost for the medical cannabis patient, internally. License producers like Beacon Medical, Organigram, & Weed MD are nobly covering the dollar a gram, or 10% fee for the patient. This move will ensure that the patient will not be affected by the changes that came about this week.
This move was implemented by LP’s to allow medical cannabis patients to obtain their medicine at a far lower price than what the OCS offers online. Other LPs such as Tilray and Peace Naturals are absorbing the shipping costs for their patients, again dropping the total price per gram to a manageable rate.
Compassionate Pricing, Veterans Pricing
A majority of the medical LPs in the market offer varying compassionate discounts for patients whose annual income falls under a set benchmark (typically those who fit under the 22k-30k ceiling annually qualify). These discounts vary from 10%-30% across the board, and with a notice of assessment, they will gladly sign the medical cannabis patient on to the program.
A clinic such as Hello Cannabis can help you navigate that space if you feel you may qualify. Veterans Affairs Canada offers full coverage of up to 3g of Cannabis a day for our heroes, who have dedicated their lives to our country. With accommodating staff reaching out to a clinic will make it easier for Veterans to navigate that space.
Although there are some handsomely created top-level videos on the OCS site, there is a lack of personalized education and a serious lack of education on cannabinoids as a medicine. Becoming a medical patient ensures that you have a total health care plan.
Working with physicians, nurse practitioners and educators will help you find your path quickly, to achieve the best results for your body. Clinics such as Hello Cannabis will take the time to educate you on your cannabis experience and explain the various methods of ingestion while teaching you how to track the results for best efficacy.
Editorial By: Bubba Nicholson – President of Hello Cannabis & co-host of the Into The Weeds Podcast