Non-medical use of cannabis became legal in Canada, so what of the medical patients left without their own market? Those who were able to jump through tricky shifting legal hurdles, maintaining years of legitimacy for something they truly need. From MMAR through to ACMPR, and now Cannabis Regulations alongside the Cannabis Act.
A hope glimmers as research is now more accessible. Once health authorities see any official proof of cannabis’ medicinal benefits, however, a significant amount of time will pass. For now, the new laws created a shift that favors non-medical access, with medicinal purpose only getting thinly expressed exceptions in the new Cannabis Act.
So easily overseen are some smaller changes, now we’ve been granted such a great federal freedom. Certain individuals, especially patients, will see themselves inconvenienced in their daily routines, more as time continues, waiting for granted approvals in micro production, health benefits, and specialty products. A prescription which once separated someone from illegal use now holds far less significance before a non-medical dominated market.
A need for two platforms exists. Both now blend into one, unjust for anyone needing true responsible aid.
Pricing is unfair for those who have been approved for medical use, for they are seeking relief of a serious ailment. But now they’re facing a singular market value which was only established for the general public. Celebrating stock market success for legal sale is only morally just when patients become untied to this new found capitalism.
Medical Access Denied
Another restricted avenue is access, with one supply source set despite two separate demands. Those standard producers selling legally today were on a federally restricted medical market for the past few years, creating products that were refused by patients for inadequate quality and excessive pricing- the same complaints we’re hearing from legal users today.
Patients alternatively sought out better relief from small-batch cannabis in grey market stores. Now that is set to slowly diminish through provincial force, once the legal supply is mature enough to confront black market competition. A fact some believe false, hoping medicinal dispensaries will continue business as usual, fighting no different than before. Alcohol’s strictly regulated sales status, despite zero medicinal benefits to argue, should still bring clarity ro cannabis’ future under a non-medical market. Now, both industries are operated under a single hand.
Micro-licensing will bring an influx of products allowing great benefit, as new strains will be brought in through that portal. Hopefully, with a personal insensitive of care many small producers of the former ACMPR carried. Before anything truly “craft” is seen on shelves, a crucial amount of time will pass. This creates an access gap that certain people will be struggling to sustain through, as with the arrival of legal market edibles and concentrates.
Guidance is also restricted. True, cannabis isn’t officially approved as medicine, beyond CBD for epilepsy. It is, however, accepted by doctors and authorities as aid for several severe ailments such as cancer and pain. Many do rely on its medicinal value, which Health Canada respects, although it lacks scientific evidence for official federal approval outright. Research suppression, caused by years of prohibition has now finally lifted; foreshadowing an inhibition in legal processes we now face.
Cannabis is not one size fits all. Trouble being, so many constituents exists, with varying personal reactions to different spectrums. Understanding each variety is akin to reading a complex map. Professional guidance is needed for many people to “find their fit,” demanding a need for retailers operating with a strong code of compassionate ethics.
Despite a market where a broad range of these cannabinoids and terpenes are advertised, one cannot give medical advice, for uncertainties which still do exist. Guidance can be given to help an individual find better relief, though. Those whom, example: want to avoid sedation may not understand what a high CBN content is, or which terpenes to avoid.
Kamloops BC will lose a community loved store, due to an owner’s ability to benefit patients being so constricted as a private retailer. A personal choice against a provincial application was made. This sacrifice will continue to repeat across our province and others. One can only hope private markets sustain an adequate knowledge bracket, with an ability to guide customers professionally, albeit not medically. Carrying a broad enough range of cannabis’ spectrum, to provide users choosing responsibility or otherwise; medical or not.
Until we finally see two separate markets established.
Featured image courtesy of Leafly.