Frequently Asked Questions


Is Santé Cannabis open?

We are continuing services and accepting new patients. On-site appointments include clear instructions on the measures in place to support the safety of all patients and staff.

What are Santé Cannabis preventative measures for COVID-19?

We are continuing with public health safety measures to protect the health of all our patients, caregivers and staff.

If you are booked for a specific on-site appointment for a research project, you will receive detailed instructions. Strict preventative on-site measures are in place to protect the safety of all patients and staff.

Find all the details of what to expecthere


What information do I have to provide in order to become a patient?
  1. Submit either a referral from your doctor or a self-referral.
  2. Provide documents that confirms your medical condition.
  3. Prescription list of past 3 to 5 years provided by pharmacy.

You can find the forms here

All documents are required and must be received before we begin your file review to assess your eligibility. Once we receive and review your file, we will contact you for your first appointment.

Please note your first appointment will last for approximately 2 hours.

What is the waiting time for a 1st appointment?

For referrals from your doctor, wait time is approximately 4 weeks.

For self-referrals, the wait time is approximately 8 weeks due to additional review requirements.

Please note review cannot begin until supporting documents are received.

Can my symptoms and conditions be treated with medical cannabis?

From our research into the evidence we list the following as symptoms and conditions that medical cannabis may help treat. This list is not exhaustive, if you do not see your symptoms and conditions here, we suggest speaking to your doctor.

The majority of our patients seek treatment for chronic pain and related symptoms.

  • Pain
  • Chronic pain syndrome
  • Neuropathic pain
  • Cancer pain
  • Nausea
  • Lack of appetite
  • Spasticity
  • Inflammation
  • Anxiety and anxiety disorders
  • Depression
  • Insomnia
  • Chronic gastrointestinal disorders
  • Digestive issues and spasms
  • Neuropathy
  • Spinal cord injury
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Arthritis
  • Epilepsy
  • HIV/AIDS wasting syndrome
  • Migraines
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Patient Fees and Costs

Are there fees at Santé Cannabis?

No. There are no fees with presentation of your valid Quebec health card (RAMQ card)

Does my health card cover medical cannabis?

No, your health card (RAMQ public insurance) covers the cost of your appointment but not the cost of the treatment. However, you may claim your treatment on your medical expenses when you file your taxes.

There are certain cannabinoid medications (example, Nabilone) that are covered by our public insurance. Please ask our Health Care team for more details in your appointment.

Does private insurance cover medical cannabis?

We strongly suggest you contact your insurance company to obtain more information, as it varies highly between plans.

Many private insurance plans now cover medical cannabis (dried cannabis or oil), such as Health Spending Accounts within certain group benefit plans, Veterans Affairs, Emergency Responders and CNESST. Please contact your provider for more details.

How much does medical cannabis cost?

The costs of medical cannabis vary by Licensed Seller* and by the variety of dried cannabis or type of cannabis product and quantity prescribed. We will support you to choose your Licensed Producer considering your health needs and budget.

*Certain Licensed Sellers  offer discounts for patients with low incomes, this will be explained to you by your nurse during your appointment.

Our relationship with your doctor

Will Santé Cannabis be contacting my doctor?

Yes, if you were referred by a doctor, we may contact them for further information and will provide a report following your initial visit at Santé Cannabis.

We’re a team – your doctor, you and us. We share your complete reports with both you and your doctor. These reports include your treatment progress and readiness for transfer back into their care and a supportive plan for your treatment going forward.

Once my medical cannabis treatment is stable, and my file is sent back to my referring doctor, will my care change?

It should get even better. With your doctor in charge of your cannabis treatment, you will have follow-up with someone who is managing your care for all of your health concerns.

Santé Cannabis will continue to provide support, answer questions and concerns that either you or your doctor may have via our Nursing Support Services.

Once my primary care doctor takes over my medical cannabis care, can I still access patient resources at Santé Cannabis?

Yes. Our healthcare professionals will remain available to answer your questions, and to ensure you receive quality care, and you can still participate in our events. Keep up to date by signing up for our newsletter or contact us here.

General medical cannabis questions

Is cannabis legal?

Medical and non-medical (often referred to as recreational) cannabis is legal in Quebec for adults 21 years of age and older.

Why do I need a prescription if cannabis is now legal?

Cannabis is complex like your health, and using medical cannabis under the supervision of qualified health care professionals is important.

Our doctors and nurses work with you to understand your medical history and health goals. Your safety is important to us; making sure you understand the potential risks such as drug interactions.

There are certain protections for patients authorized to use medical cannabis, including consideration in the workplace, public use, and eligibility for insurance coverage and income tax credits.

It is not recommended that medical cannabis be purchased from the SQDC and such protections are not available for non-medical (recreational) cannabis.

Can I buy cannabis at the SQDC, a “ compassion club “, a dispensary or by ordering online?

In Québec, the SQDC (Société Québécoise du cannabis) is the only legal provider of cannabis for recreational use. We cannot forbid you from buying cannabis at the SQDC. However, note that cannabis products sold at the SQDC are sold ONLY for recreational purposes, the sales agents are not trained to give medical advice on the right products for your condition. If you buy from the SQDC, you will also not be able to claim medical expenses on your income tax or with your private insurance for reimbursement. Compassion clubs and dispensaries operate illegally in Canada and buying cannabis from those sources puts you in violation of the Canadian Cannabis Act and of your Santé Cannabis treatment agreement which you signed. Licensed sellers (LS) are the only legal retailers of medical cannabis in Canada.

I think my child might benefit from medical cannabis; can I book them an appointment?

Patients under 21 years may be eligible for an appointment in very specific cases, when referred by a specialist and reviewed by our medical team.

Can I take medical cannabis while in hospital or long-term care facilities?

It depends on the individual centers’ policy. Many places will allow you to use medical cannabis, but the center may request additional information from us and may require additional support from your caregivers.

At your appointment, please let us know if you intend to use your medical cannabis in a hospital or long-term care facility so we can better support you.

If I took my medical cannabis can I still drive?

Medical cannabis can cause impairment. It is recommended that you wait at least 4 hours after consuming inhaled cannabis and 8 hours after ingesting oral cannabis preparations before operating heavy machinery.

Please note that these are general guidelines and reactions to cannabinoids, especially high concentrations of THC, are variable. You may feel impaired for longer and should ensure that you monitor your level of impairment before getting behind the wheel.

If you’re relatively new to medical cannabis use (a year or less) should take extra caution to assess impairment levels and err on the side of safety.

Can I use medical cannabis at work?

The answer to this question depends in part on the job you are doing. For example, if you have to regularly drive a vehicle or heavy machinery, handle potentially dangerous tools or if you occupy a safety sensitive job, you have to completely abstain from using cannabis at work. We encourage you to find out what your company policies are and if there are regulations surrounding medical cannabis use. For further information on cannabis use at work, you can consult:

Can I use cannabis products and drink alcohol?

Cannabis mixed with alcohol or other depressants can cause the effects of each to be enhanced and can lead to unpleasant side effects. If you decide to drink alcohol and are taking cannabis, be sure to do it carefully, slowly and to limit the quantity you are using. For instance, if you plan on taking cannabis, have only one glass of wine or a beer with a meal.

Can I travel with medical cannabis?

You may not travel outside of Canada with medical cannabis. However, you can travel with medical cannabis anywhere in Canada, even by plane. If you are traveling with medical cannabis, be sure to keep it inside its original container and to carry the document confirming your registration with your LS (your recent invoice can be sufficient).

What are my options if a chose to travel outside Canada?

It may be possible to take a prescription cannabinoid such as Cesamet™ (Nabilone) or Sativex™ when traveling in some countries. While you cannot travel to your destination with cannabis, you may have the option to obtain cannabis if it is legal there. Discuss this matter with our medical team during your follow-up appointment.

Treatment Plans, Prescriptions and Products

How long until I get my first shipment?

Registration with a licensed seller (formally called licensed producer) can take up to one week. Once you have registered with a licensed seller (LS), they will contact you by email or by phone to confirm you are registered and able to place an order. You will then be able to place an order for the prescribed product(s). Shipping: 2-3 business days, usually via Canada Post or other shipping company.

How much cannabis can I purchase?

You can legally purchase and possess the lesser of: 30 times your daily quantity of dried cannabis (for example: 2g/day = 60g/purchase) or 150g. However, the amount you will purchase will depend on what your doctor has indicated on your Medical Document. Medical cannabis can lawfully be obtained from your Licensed Seller (LS).

Can I register with more than one licensed seller?

You can have up to two licensed sellers at the same time. Please discuss this matter with your cannabis educator at Santé Cannabis before meeting with your physician at your follow-up appointment.

I’d like to change my Licensed Producer, what should I do?

Please contact your current producer and your new preferred producer directly.

Let your current producer know you would like to have them transfer your medical document to the new producer you want to register with. You will need to complete a new registration online with this new company.

Following your transfer, we suggest that you send us an email to inform us of this change.

If you need support, please contact us, we will offer you an appointment with one of our nurses.

The product I was advised on my treatment plan is backorder, I don't know what to order, what do I do?

Please contact us. Our receptionist will offer you an appointment with one of our nurses to advise you on a new treatment plan.

Who do I contact if I need help with my cannabis treatment or my prescription is about to expire once my referring doctor takes over my care?

We recommend you make an appointment with your referring doctor 3 months before your prescription from us expires. This will prevent you from having a gap in care.

Your doctor can contact us by phone or email for support or questions about your treatment.

Can I grow my own medical cannabis?

Growing your own medical cannabis is quite complex and is considered on a case-by-case basis between you and your Santé Cannabis team.

If you are a new patient, you must be followed at Santé Cannabis for at least 6 months before this option is considered, additional paperwork will be required to submit to Health Canada. In these cases, we will support you with the paperwork.

Referring and prescribing for doctors

How do I refer a patient to your services?

To refer a patient to Santé Cannabis, simply fax or e-mail us a completed referral form, including a summary of the patient’s medical history and list of past and current medications for the past 3-5 years.

How do I know if my patient is a good candidate for medical cannabis?

If you are unsure or seeking a second opinion, you can complete and submit the referral form for review by a Santé Cannabis nurse or call our direct physician phone line to discuss the patient’s case with one of our nurses

Which healthcare practitioners can authorize medical cannabis, and do they need a special license?

Licensed physicians are able to write an authorization for their patients under guidelines set by the Collège des Médecins du Québec.

There is no special licensing required for physicians to authorize medical cannabis, but healthcare practitioners must follow the guidelines within the province they are licensed to practice.

Guidelines for Quebec physicians found here.

If you’re a Quebec physician interested in additional training, we suggest you sign up for our Prescriber Training Program here.

Training program, services and opportunities for doctors and other healthcare professionals

How do I access your training services?

If you are a Quebec doctor, you can register to our Prescriber Training Program, you need to read and electronically confirm our registration agreement here.

If you are outside of Quebec, or from an international country, please fill out our form to receive information about our customized training options.

Can you present to my clinic or healthcare team?

Yes, a nurse, doctor or research employee from the Santé Cannabis team can present either in person or virtually to your clinic or healthcare group. Please contact us here. Once we receive your request, our clinical education team will contact you with further details.

Are there services or training for nurses, nurse practitioners or pharmacists?

Yes, either as part of our Quebec Prescriber Training Program or as an individual program if you are outside Quebec or from another country.

Nurses, nurse practitioners and  pharmacists that work with a Quebec doctor who is registered to our Prescriber Training Program, have access to our online training portal including all of the learning material, various training options and direct support by phone or email for free. Those not affiliated to a doctor that is part of our program can access the services separately with a fee. Please contact us  with your request and available budget. Our clinical education team will review your request and communicate with you with options and associated cost.

What events could I attend to learn about medical cannabis?

Every year Santé Cannabis organizes an annual forum series to provide healthcare professionals and stakeholders from different sectors of the medical cannabis industry an opportunity to share and promote collaboration in the field. In addition, we are organizing virtual webinars on different topics throughout the year.

The 2021 series will be hosted virtually, with more details available in the coming months.

Please visit our Events page for all the upcoming events.

You can also join our newsletter to keep up with training opportunities, events, and recent research.

Is your program accredited?

Our Prescriber Training Program is not accredited.

If I enroll in your training program, what is the time commitment?

Our Prescriber Training Program does not have a defined time commitment. It can be adapted to your needs and availability, and all the presented materials are available online and can be reviewed and consulted by you at any time.

Do you have any specialized training (i.e., for neurologists, psychiatrists, etc.)?

For now, we do not have any specialized training. However, we are flexible and if possible, we can adapt our training to your speciality or your needs. For example, we can adapt preceptorships by selecting patients with conditions related to your speciality.

Partnering with Santé Cannabis

I’m starting a medical cannabis clinic; can you support me?

At Santé Cannabis we want you to benefit from our experience. We’ve spent years developing our model of care by assessing, evaluating and monitoring thousands of patients. As such, we offer clinic development services to partners.

If you are interested in opening a clinic, please contact us here to receive an e-package of our complete clinic development services.

I’d like to add medical cannabis services to my clinic; can you support me?

We offer clinic development services based on our experience developing our model of care and training doctors, nurses and staff to create efficient, compliant medical cannabis clinics.

If you are interested in adding medical cannabis to your practice, please contact us here to receive an e-package of our complete clinic development services.

I’m looking for a partner for a medical cannabis research project; what services do you offer?

We offer robust, unique research services that can be customized to meet company objectives, including:

  • Clinical Research Program Consultation
  • Medical Advisory and Public Relations
  • Scientific Report Writing and Dissemination
  • Real-World Data Services
  • Phase I to IV Trial Development
  • Regulatory Strategy and Support
  • Clinical Operations
  • Clinical Trial Site Services

If you are interested to learn more, please contact us here to receive an e-package of our complete research services.

I’d like to access your database; do you share it?

Our database has been built since 2014 and has real-world data for more than 4,000 patients. We offer access to our database through our Real-World Data services. Our services are accessible, dependable and innovative.

If you are interested to learn more, please contact us here to receive an e-package of our complete Real-World Data services.

I’m interested in medical cannabis clinical trials; what services do you offer?

Santé Cannabis offers unmatched CRO and site services specifically tailored to suit the uniqueness of medical cannabis and cannabinoid research and its related regulations. Whether it be as a trial site or a CRO, we work as your partner to achieve your company objectives.

Our services include:

  • Phase I to IV Trial Development
  • Regulatory Strategy and Support
  • Clinical Operations
  • Clinical Trial Site Services

If you are interested to learn more about our Clinical Trial Services, please contact us here to receive an e-package of our complete research services.