A new national poll suggested the majority of Canadians support the use of cannabis as a legal option for those with medical need.

The survey, sponsored by licensed cannabis producer Tilray, asked 1555 respondents if they supported physician approved medical cannabis access (86 per cent in favour) along with their views on cannabis’s value for those with chronic pain (73 per cent in favour) and if the drug was a safer alternative to opioids (70 per cent said it was).

Three-quarters of those who responded also said medical cannabis should be covered by insurance companies.

“Around the world, medical cannabis is still a relatively misunderstood, though promising, therapy,” said Tilray CEO Greg Engel. “It is encouraging that Canadians are clearly paying attention to medical cannabis as a legitimate treatment option here at home.”

Although the majority agreed on cannabis’s medicinal value, only 42 per cent of Canadians said they thought their doctor would prescribe cannabis if they suffered from a chronic medical condition.

“There is a clear need for greater education so that physicians can gain knowledge and clinical experience with medical cannabis in their practice and develop confidence in recommending it for their patients,” said Engel. “The good news is that the evidence supporting the use of medical cannabis is rapidly growing, and is finally catching up to the overwhelming public support for this treatment option.”