Article by Dale Carruthers, London Free Press
Medical marijuana users who buy their pot from illegal dispensaries risk not having their prescriptions renewed.
That’s the warning doctors at a London clinic specializing in prescribing pot are giving their patients, said Ronan Levy, director of Canadian Cannabis Clinics.
But the operator of London’s newest dispensary — engaged in a showdown with police that illustrates confusion over Canada’s pot laws — calls the warning “bullying.”
Setting up shop in London more than a year ago, doctors at Canadian Cannabis Clinics assess patients and write prescriptions for medical marijuana. Though a referral from a family doctor is preferred, it’s not required at the clinic.
“Absolutely we do not recommend that patients purchase through dispensaries,” Levy said from Vancouver.
The proliferation of dispensaries across Canada — there’s an estimated 350 — is causing confusion among patients on the legal status of the businesses, Levy said.
Under federal law, authorized patients can only buy marijuana for medicinal use from a few dozen government-approved commercial producers.
“If a patient goes to a dispensary and purchases from there, as opposed to one of Health Canada’s licensed producers, they won’t continue to provide a prescription to those patients,” Levy said of his doctors.