The number of medical cannabis patients in Canada has grown exponentially since Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was elected in 2015. When Trudeau was elected in October 2015, there were roughly 30,000 medical cannabis patients in Canada. By the end of 2016, that number had quadrupled to almost 130,000 patients. In Canada, medical cannabis patients get approved by a physician which then allows them to received medical marijuana via the mail.
For some patients, the order-by-mail model works. But for others, the prices are too high and not being able to see the product before purchase is undesirable. With that being said, the math doesn’t lie – more and more people are signing up to be medical marijuana patients in Canada. There are no doubt a number of reasons for the spike in the number of patients, with some offered up by the industry, per CTV News:
The medical pot industry says the sharp increase in numbers of prescription holders is due to better-informed physicians and patients about the benefits of marijuana in treating a wide range of ailments, including pain, nausea, seizures and anxiety.
“This is getting much more known to people and much more respected,” said Colette Rivet of the Canadian Cannabis Association.
The federal government has said it will introduce legalization legislation this spring, but it’s unknown how long it would actually take for such a bill to become law.
Some marijuana opponents have hurled accusations that people are signing up for medical marijuana when really they are just using the marijuana for recreational purposes. Those accusations are unfounded, and in almost all cases untrue. Cannabis can be used for wellness purposes, so just because someone visually looks healthy does not mean that they do not need medical marijuana. It will be interesting to see what happens to the growth rate in patient numbers if/when Canada ever implements adult-use cannabis laws. National legalization is supposed to be on the horizon, but to be fair, that has been the case since Trudeau took office and it has yet to happen. Hopefully soon!?