Article by J
The number of Canadians legally signed up to buy medical marijuana has more than tripled in the last year.
The Health Canada statistics reflect an explosion in the number of Canadians who are turning to marijuana to get relief from everything from chronic pain to nausea from chemotherapy.
By the end of September, nearly 100,000 Canadians had obtained prescriptions and registered to buy cannabis with one of the growers licensed by Health Canada, such as the Tweed company in Smiths Falls. That’s a dramatic leap from the 30,537 people registered in September 2015.
The increase coincides with the switch in 2014 from a system dominated by patients growing their own marijuana to the introduction of large commercial grow-ops that sell cannabis by mail.
A number of factors appear to be in play, according to cannabis industry officials and doctors who are pioneering the use of marijuana.
There is a growing awareness among both patients and doctors of the possible benefits of medical marijuana. Clinics and information centres have sprung up to advise patients on how to obtain cannabis legally, direct them to cannabis-friendly doctors, and give advice on how to use it.
The licensed marijuana producers have also devoted resources to educating doctors and the public.