In Canada, medical marijuana has been legal since 2001. This was the year that the federal government finally took action and showed their full support of medical marijuana for patients in need. At that time, the program was passed as the Marihuana Medical Access Regulations, MMAR for short.
According to MMAR legislation, those who applied and received approval could gain easier access to medical marijuana, either through buying it or growing from home. The program has gone through some alterations over time, and now it is known as the Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations, or ACMPR.
To many Canadians, growing medical marijuana from home sounds too good to be true. Home cultivation offers many benefits to patients, including easier access and lower medical costs. This “too good to be true” mentality is why so many Canadians assume that applying for the ACMPR is a difficult process.
Well, it’s actually not that difficult. You can read about the application process and the necessary steps involved to become a registered ACMPR grower here.
What is the ACMPR Program?
Before going through the entire application process, the first step is fully understanding the ACMPR and knowing who it is meant to serve. This program, which is completely in the hands of Health Canada, is dedicated to helping patients who require medical marijuana for treatment.
Once a license is issued, the license holder is legally allowed to grow a certain amount of medical plants from home. The number of plants varies from person to person and is determined by several factors. The main factors are the size of the prescription issued (this is written in grams per day) and the growing location (whether it is indoor, outdoor, or a combination of the two).
If a patient isn’t interested in growing plants from home, there are two alternative options. The first is to designate someone else to grow the plants, and the second is to purchase products from a government-approved source. The fact that ACMPR members have several options available to them is one of the reasons why this program is so beloved.
What Are the Reasons for Applying?
The general reason for applying for someone living in Canada is that there is a need for treating a condition, and treatment requires the use of medical marijuana. But more specifically, the reason to apply is to gain easier access to this treatment.
Even with recreational cannabis now being legal, accessing medical-grade products isn’t always easy. Not only that, but it’s also expensive to purchase products like dried flowers, oils, and capsules from retail sources. With the ACMPR, it’s possible to grow from home and create the products needed to effectively treat a condition.
Who Can Apply to Be an ACMPR Grower?
As long as you are at least 18 years of age, you regularly live in Canada, and you can attest that you haven’t been convicted of a cannabis-related crime, you can apply. Applicants also need to confirm that they are in need of medical marijuana, and this is done through a medical marijuana RX.
How Long Does the Process Take?
Once an ACMPR Application is submitted, the approval process can take anywhere from a few weeks to a few months. The timeframe depends entirely on Health Canada and how many applications they receive at a given time.
The Process in 4 Easy Steps
Although the process of applying is fairly straightforward, many Canadians who have gone through it suggest that you hire an external consulting service. This is mainly because the process of receiving a prescription can be difficult, even in modern times when medical marijuana is completely legal.
The main objective of an ACMPR licensing consultant is to partner patients with compassionate doctors who are willing to write medical marijuana prescriptions. Once you’ve hired an ACMPR consulting service (there are quite a few to choose from), the entire process can be done in 4 easy steps:
Submit the Necessary Info and Documentation
The very first step is an easy one; simply submit any information and medical documentation that is required of you. Some consultants require an extremely detailed medical history, but others just need the basics and ask patients to fill out an easy questionnaire.
Speak with a Doctor to Receive an RX
Most consultants allow patients to meet with a doctor over a video appointment, so you can get this next step done from home. When on the call with the doctor (or nurse practitioner), be prepared to answer questions about your medical history and current usage of marijuana.
From there, the doc will determine how many grams per day your medical condition requires. This varies from patient to patient – it depends on the condition, the symptoms, and the patient’s history with cannabis. Once the RX is filled out and signed, the doctor will send the original copy in the mail to the patient.
Complete and Mail-In the Application
Health Canada requires all applicants to send an original copy of the medical marijuana prescription along with the completed application. The forms can be found on the government website, but a respectable ACMPR consultant will send every patient the forms and assist them in completing the application.
Once that’s done, the next step is to send the application (and don’t forget the RX) to Health Canada’s headquarters.
Wait Patiently for the License to Arrive
As mentioned before, part of the process might require some patience from your end. The final step is simply a waiting game as you await Health Canada’s approval. But the good news is that as long as you’ve sent a valid prescription, completed the application properly, and meet the requirements of applying, then you’re guaranteed approval.
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