SANTÉ CANNABIS NEEDS YOUR HELP!
HEAR OUR STORY FROM MEDICAL DIRECTOR & CO-FOUNDER, DR. MICHAEL DWORKIND
It is with great regret and a heavy heart that we must announce the suspension of a large part of our services for financial reasons.
As of Monday, September 5th, we must unfortunately suspend initial appointments for all new patients. We must also suspend our training activities for health professionals and patients. Therefore, all announced fall events are cancelled. We will however continue to ensure the renewal of medical cannabis authorizations for existing patients.
We want to assure you that we will be here for our current patients. Our phones and emails will be open, however, we will have fewer staff to support them. Your doctors are here to provide continued care. Follow-up appointments will be a little different, but we are fighting to bring back our full level of care.
Here are ways that you can help:
- Make a contribution to our cause
- Share our campaign with your friends and family, or share on social media
- Continue with us – Moving to the recreational cannabis stream hurts our cause
- Send us a testimonial that you would be willing to share in our public campaigns – Rest assured, we won’t disclose any identifying information.
- Be patient with us during this difficult time, we will need more time to return your calls and your emails, we’re here for you but we are under-resourced
You might be wondering how this happened- Santé Cannabis has been a mainstay of medical cannabis access in Quebec since 2014.
We’ve been struggling with the same question. Medical cannabis is not a priority for our government, for our healthcare industry, and we’ve tried everything we can to maintain our service, but we’re at our breaking point.
We’ve been slammed by the COVID-19 pandemic and increasing costs. And we now operate in the shadow of a recreational cannabis market entirely disconnected from its roots in medicine and patient advocacy. We now lack the resources required to continue providing our essential medical service. The RAMQ billings and educational grants we receive do not cover the costs of the care that we provide, and we must restructure in order to survive. We also receive no additional public funding in a province that profited $65 Million from recreational cannabis sales last year.
To date, none of these public funds are earmarked for medical cannabis research or improving medical cannabis access in Quebec. Many people will wonder, why do we still need medical cannabis clinics now that cannabis is sold legally?
There are many, many reasons:
- Patients using cannabis for medical purposes require care and education that cannot be provided by cannabis store clerks
- Physicians, nurse practitioners and pharmacists identify potential risk factors and drug interactions that require monitoring
- Vulnerable populations require personalized professional support to ensure they use cannabis safely and appropriately
- Cannabis purchased on the recreational market cannot be declared as a medical expense on income tax
- Medical cannabis authorizations provide protection to individuals who depend on it to work, to live and to care for their families
- Children and young persons can only access cannabis for medical purposes, and require personalized professional support
- Some patients receive reimbursement for their medical cannabis purchases, such as through Veterans Affairs Canada, CSST, SAAQ, and health insurance spending accounts.
- Patients who grow their own cannabis require medical authorization, especially in Quebec where home cultivation is otherwise prohibited
- Specific Higher potency products for medical use are not available at the SQDC and can only be accessed via medical authorization
Once more, here are the ways you can help:
We are about to launch a media campaign to let the public know of this situation. We’ve protected our patients from these financial difficulties until now and avoided voicing them publicly. We are now at a point where we can no longer stay silent. As patients, you can help shed light on the importance of patient access to reliable information, educated medical evaluations and proper follow-ups. If any of the reasons for medical cannabis clinics to exist apply to you and you want to share your experience, send us your testimonial at email@example.com.
We have also launched a donation campaign that we invite you to share with your connexions. We believe in our mission. We hope this situation is temporary, and thank you for your patience and support.
– Dr. Dworkind