Canada has a single-payer healthcare system, yet every step of getting legal to use medicinal Cannabis is monetized- from the first step of referral to the last click of purchase, you’ll pay in some way.
If you get a written diagnosis from your Doctor, you’ll likely have to pay for it. If you want to buy a copy of your file, you’ll pay for that too. That one stings more since the bigger the file, the bigger the fee and you have no control over how many notes your Doctor made in said file.
If you go to some legalizing clinics in any Canadian city you’ll pay to be assessed by a Doctor. My buddy just paid $139 to Medi-Green simply to be added to the client roster. When the clinic registers him to a licensed producer, they’ll likely get some kick-back to say thanks.
If you wanted to use your medicine safely by vaporizing, your Doctor can write a letter of recommendation asking for health insurances to cover the cost, and you’ll likely pay for that letter.
Once you’ve jumped through the hoops to be legal you’ll begin paying to pay for your medicine. You can pay by credit, debit, or e-transfer –none of which is free! You’ll pay for it to be delivered and you’ll pay tax on it too.
Canada has a single-payer healthcare system but you wouldn’t know it.
And I’m sure if you asked our brave and balanced Parliament how the legal medical Cannabis program was doing, they’d say it was a great success. But I ask you, how can it be a success when our own Health Ministry doesn’t recognize it as medicine?
Many people believe that the medical program is nothing but a Trojan Horse for recreational. As someone who believes all use is medicinal, I sit on the fence with this one but as I see producers, financial gurus, and dabblers in the stock market drooling at the potential money to be made, I can definitely see their point.
I mean, let’s be real for a moment here: Snoop isn’t medicinal nor are the Trailer Park Boys. Yet they are now the faces of two common producers of this medicine. Can you imagine if Merck used a celebrity to market for them? Wait, I guess they do but it’s done as though the celebrity is a patient successfully being treated with that medication. As much as Bubbles or Ricky could likely use a daily shot of CBD, it’s never been implied that they are medical patients.
But of course we’re all to believe that Health Canada’s “no marketing” rules surrounding all of the legal producers is being followed and respected. I made notes for this article with a pen from CannTrust and my breath and lips are currently smooth and fresh thanks to mints and chapstick from Emblem. So the swag from the LIFT convention isn’t marketing? Right.
What they don’t see is that the simple fact that these producers get to price their medicine however they wish, is clearly marketing. Bedrocan’s $5 grams was a brilliant marketing achievement as is MedReleaf’s ‘Rex’ at $17.50 per gram. Both price schemes play into different mindsets to profit an industry pretending to be medical until recreational begins.
Oh how I get sore from sitting on this fence. I’m so happy to be a part of this program and for me, getting legal was an antidepressant in itself- but we have to stop pretending that things are going well. Patients can’t afford this medicine yet nobody in a position of change knows this. Or maybe they don’t care.
It’s the micro view vs the macro view. How can you govern unless you see both?