Most Medical Cannabis Patients Still Get Their Pot Illegally: Health Canada Survey

Article by Mike Hager, Globe and Mail

Most medical cannabis patients still get their pot illegally: Health Canada survey MIKE HAGER Marijuana plants at a cultivation facility in Olds, Alta., on Oct. 10, 2018. JEFF MCINTOSH/THE CANADIAN PRESS

Only one in four medical marijuana users said they sourced the medicine from Health Canada, with the rest getting it illegally from friends, dealers or unlicensed dispensaries, according to the latest official snapshot on how people use the drug.
Health Canada’s 2018 Canadian Cannabis Survey, released this week, provides an overview of the consumption habits of recreational and medical users before the drug was legalized last month.
The survey involved 12,958 random people from across the country between May and July, with 3,395 respondents indicating they had used the drug in the past year. Nearly half that number (1,706) said they were using it medicinally.
Jack Lloyd, a lawyer in Toronto who specializes in cannabis cases, said the new data show patients still don’t have faith in Canada’s medical marijuana system. Mr. Lloyd is part of a B.C. Supreme Court case arguing many patients turn to the illicit market to get edibles and high-potency concentrates that work for them because they don’t know how to make these products themselves and they still can’t get them through legal channels.​
Only the sale of dried flower or cannabis oils through government-licensed stores or licensed producers is legal, with legislation on edibles not expected until next year.
“The government was told that the restriction to dried flower was unconstitutional,” Mr. Lloyd said, referencing the unanimous 2015 Supreme Court of Canada decision that enshrined the right of medical-marijuana users to consume the drug in ways other than smoking.

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