1 in 4 Med Consumers Say Cannabis is Harder to Access in Legal Market

medical cannabis prescription

In a survey of medical cannabis patients commissioned by Canadians for Fair Access to Medical Marijuana (CFAMM), the Arthritis Society, and the Canadian Pharmacists Association (CPhA), 26% of respondents reported it has gotten harder to access the cannabis they need since legalization. (In the study, 19% found it easier to access the cannabis they needed while 55% said access has remained the same.)

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The delineation between “medical” and “recreational” or “adult-use” cannabis is a difficult one, since reports continue to show that many of those buying cannabis in the non-medical market are doing so to relieve medical or psychiatric conditions.

According to the CFAMM/Arthritis Society/CPhA survey, most patients were using cannabis to treat pain, insomnia, anxiety, stress, and arthritis, with 38% of respondents saying they relied heavily on cannabis for relief from those conditions. However, 61% said they were self-medicating without oversight from a doctor.

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Because of supply obstacles or high prices, 64% of medical cannabis consumers under dose. Though 38% of respondents said they mail-ordered medical cannabis from LPs, 37% said they bought their cannabis for medical purposes from illicit sellers.

Announcing the study, representatives from both CFAMM and the Arthritis Society stressed the need for the medical establishment to normalize medical cannabis in order to improve patient access and physician oversight.

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They also called for tax-cuts on medical cannabis, distribution through pharmacies, and wider health-insurance coverage.