Answering Your Questions About Medical Marijuana in Ontario

Answering Your Questions About Medical Marijuana in Ontario

Medical Marijuana in Ontario


As medical marijuana gains popularity as a treatment for injuries, diseases, and chronic conditions, Ontarians have questions about how it is prescribed, obtained, and whether or not it will be covered under their insurance plans. Although rules and regulations surrounding the use of cannabis are evolving quickly in Canada, this article will help to answer questions about the current use of medical marijuana in our province.


  • Is medical marijuana legal? The use of medical marijuana is regulated by the federal government. If a healthcare professional has authorized you to use medical marijuana, you can access it legally. Later this year, recreational cannabis is expected to be legalized. This will not change your ability to access medical marijuana.


  • What conditions is medical marijuana effective for? Scientific evidence regarding the efficacy of cannabis in medical treatment is scant, but users report that many conditions can benefit from the use of cannabis, including:

    • ADD/ADHD
    • Alzheimer’s Disease
    • Anxiety
    • Arthritis
    • Auto Accident Injuries
    • Back & Neck Problems
    • Brain Injury
    • Cancer and Cancer Treatment Side-Effects
    • Chronic Nausea
    • Chronic Pain
    • Colitis
    • Crohn’s Disease
    • Depression
    • Eating Disorders
    • Epilepsy
    • Fibromyalgia
    • Gastrointestinal Disorders
    • Hepatitis C
    • HIV/AIDS
    • Irritable Bowel Syndrome
    • Kidney Failure/Dialysis
    • Migraines
    • Multiple Sclerosis
    • Muscle Spasms
    • Muscular Dystrophy
    • Parkinson’s Disease
    • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
    • Severe Arthritis
    • Sexual Dysfunction
    • Sleep Disorders
    • Spinal Cord Injury/Disease



  • Do all medical professionals prescribe medical cannabis? Not all doctors will prescribe medical cannabis. But by the end of 2016, 130,000 Canadians had accessed medical marijuana, so indications are that more doctors are becoming comfortable with prescribing it. Some doctors will prescribe it for certain conditions only, and others refuse to prescribe it at all, citing the lack of credible studies proving that it works.


  • How do I obtain medical marijuana? You can only legally access medical cannabis from a federally licensed producer online or by phone order, to be delivered by secure mail or courier. You will need to have a prescription (a written order that conforms to legal regulations) from a medical professional. You may also apply to Health Canada for a license to grow medical marijuana for your own use.


  • How do I take medical marijuana? Medical cannabis can take different forms. You can smoke it in a pipe, a bong, or a joint. However, smoking can damage your lungs, and it also causes you to smell like marijuana smoke, which you may want to avoid for professional or other reasons. Alternatively, you can vape medical marijuana, which does not smell but may also cause lung damage. You can consume marijuana edibles, which come in forms such as cookies, crackers, ice cream, gummies, or chocolate bars. The drawback with this method is that it takes a longer time for the effects of the cannabis to be felt. Tinctures or sub-lingual sprays using coconut oil are effective and make it easier to control the dosage. They can be more expensive than other methods, however. Another option is to use a cannabis transdermal patch, which is convenient and effective, although certain people develop an allergic reaction.


  • How much does medical marijuana cost? Prices are set by the individual licensed producers. (In some cases, you may qualify for a “compassionate care” program offered by the producer.) Current cost ranges between five dollars and fifteen dollars per gram. Most patients will use less than one gram per day.


  • Does OHIP cover the cost of medical cannabis? OHIP does not currently cover the cost of medical marijuana.


  • Does private insurance cover the cost of medical cannabis? Sun-Life Insurance made headlines this spring when they announced that their company would be adding medical cannabis to the list of medications covered by their group benefits plans. Upon approval, the insurance company will cover patients using medical cannabis for cancer, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, and HIV/AIDS. It will also be an option for patients in palliative care. It’s expected that other Canadian insurance companies will follow suit. You should check with your own insurance provider as to whether medical cannabis will be covered for your situation.


  • Can I get into trouble for possessing medical cannabis? As long as you have documentation that authorizes you to have cannabis for medical purposes, and you possess less than 150 grams of cannabis, you will be within the law.


  • What if I am injured while I am under the influence of medical cannabis? If an accident occurs and your use of medical cannabis is a contributing factor, you should call a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. Many law firms will provide a free initial consultation, where an experienced lawyer can assess your situation and advise you of your options. You may be able to make an insurance claim or take legal action. Personal injury lawyers usually operate on a contingency basis, which means that you will not be charged unless you receive a settlement.


If you think you could benefit from medical marijuana, explore your options today.