Health Canada will continue operating the medical marijuana system after recreational use of cannabis is legalized next month, but it will be reviewed within five years.
The announcement came in response to a call last month from the Canadian Medical Association — which represents doctors in this country — asking that the medical marijuana system be phased out post-legalization.
Dr. Jeff Blackmer, vice-president of medical professionalism for the CMA, said at the time that many physicians are uncomfortable prescribing marijuana, citing the lack of research and evidence of its effectiveness, along with a general lack of knowledge around dosing.
Once legalization happens, Blackmer argued there will be no reason for physicians to be involved if people want to access cannabis.
“Health Canada recognizes the concerns of the Canadian Medical Association regarding the level of evidence on the risks and benefits of cannabis for medical purposes, as well as on dosage and potential interactions with other medications,” read a statement issued this week by Health Canada.