The recent Allard constitutional challenge resulted in the current medical cannabis system, the MMPR, invalid, with Justice Michael Phelan granting the federal government until Aug. 24, 2016 to revise the system.
The list, released jointly with the Arthritis Society, offers suggestions to the Liberal government that has roughly four months before a new framework needs to be in place.
The suggestions include removing sales tax from medical cannabis, allowing health care and insurance to cover medical cannabis prescription, diversifying the access to all types of cannabis products — including edibles, increasing the distribution options available to patients beyond the current mail-order system and higher funding from the government for cannabis research.
“These five recommendations offer solutions around affordability, access, and ways to promote research,” a statement from the group read. “We are hopeful the government will consider these recommendations during both the MMPR/Allard revisions and during the development of cannabis legalization regulations.”
Canadians for Fair Access to Medical Marijuana founder Jonathan Zaid said the recommendations address specific issues patients are facing today.
“As we move forward into a legal regulatory system for recreational cannabis, it is essential we focus on addressing the currently unmet needs of Canadian patients using cannabis,” Zaid said.
Arthritis Society chief mission officer Joanne Simons said if cannabis is approved as a medicine by Health Canada, then needs to be treated like any other medication would. The society has also called for increased funding for research in a recent report.