Article by David Brown, Lift News
Enrolment in Health Canada’s personal cultivation program has nearly doubled in less than three months, according to new figures from the agency. To handle this, Health Canada’s Office of Medical cannabis recently hired 17 new employees to help with processing and responding to questions.
As of May 1, there are now 4,480 Canadians with active registrations for personal or designated cultivation under the agency’s medical cannabis access program. The regulator says the average wait time is now ten weeks, although many patients still report waiting four months or more in some cases. Under the program, Health Canada authorizes registered patients to grow their own cannabis or choose a designated grower.
Enrolment is up significantly from figures Health Canada provided to Lift earlier this year, showing 2,554 individuals allowed to grow their own cannabis or designate someone to do so, with average processing time being about seven weeks.
In response to a request from Lift, Health Canada has provided an update on their personal and designated cultivation licensing program. Lift has been covering this issue since February, looking at wait times that have, according to several patients and physicians, been several months.
Gary Scott Holub, Media Relations Officer for the Government of Canada, says the wait times are dependent on the amount of applications received, as well as if the applications are processed properly by the patient and physician. The agency says they have provided expanded instructions for patients on filling out the associated forms.