Getting Started - Patients

How do I become a Santé Cannabis Patient?

Find out more regarding our process.

Can I buy cannabis at your site?

No, we are not a dispensary. No cannabis is sold on site.

At our site you can meet with a physician and a nurse educator, as well as access community supports like support groups. We can support you when choosing a licensed producer, but we do not sell cannabis.

What services can I access through Santé Cannabis?

You can meet with a physician, educators, and access community supports.

Check out our overview of services to find more details on our process. Follow us on social media to find out about upcoming events at all four of our locations.

How long does it take me to get registered?

Once we receive your survey a staff member will contact you within 5 business days to discuss next steps and if Santé Cannabis may be a right fit for you.

You may be asked to provide supporting documents, and we will talk you through how to get them.

Once all documents have been received and checked, we will schedule an appointment with one of our compassionate physicians. Current wait-time for a physician assessment is approximately one month after documents are received.

Once you have a prescription you will work with an educator to find a Licensed Producer that will fit your needs.

After submitting all required documents to the Licensed Producer, processing can take 3-7 business days before the patient can place an order.

Can I fill my medical cannabis prescription at a compassion club or dispensary?

No. All prescriptions must be filled with a Licensed Producer.

Our educators will help you choose a producer that is right for you and will support you to fill out the correct paperwork.

An original Medical Document may also be submitted to Health Canada as part of an application for a Personal or Designated Production License.

Do patients need to be Canadian citizens?

No.

Patients are not required to be Canadian citizens or have any specific residency status. All patients must declare that they are residents of Canada as part of the Licensed Producer registration application.

Can I grow my own cannabis?

It is possible.

There are special regulations for patients apply to Health Canada for a Personal or Designated Production License. Once submitted you may be approved to grow a small number of plants for personal use only, or you can designate another person to grow on your behalf.

We can recommend places to buy seeds and help you with your paperwork.

I heard that you have to participate in research to become a cannabis patient in Quebec. Is this true?

Research participation is no longer required by Quebec’s College of Physicians. However, given our mission to further the knowledge on medicinal cannabis, you may opt to be enrolled in one of our observational studies.

But not to worry.

We work hard to ensure that Santé Cannabis patients don’t face extra burdens or demands while contributing to the important study of cannabis.

At each regular visit to the clinic, you will complete a short questionnaire about your experience. Our team of assistants, nurses and physicians will help you through the process.

** Please note that all stored research data is not connected to your identity or personal health information and any shared data is completely anonymous. **

CLINIC - PATIENTS

My doctor has agreed to prescribe cannabis for me and sent you the prescription, what are the next steps?

If we have received a prescription for you, please expect a call from our administrative staff to schedule an appointment with us to receive a follow-up with a nurse in order to help you understand your treatment and help you obtain your cannabis products. Thereafter, our staff will continue to monitor your progress until you are ready to be transferred back to your doctor.

 

Why is my file at Santé Cannabis being transferred to my regular doctor?

Like many specialized clinics, you were referred to Santé Cannabis for our unique expertise in medical cannabis. If you are being transferred back to your doctor, it means that you are in control and have been managing your treatment and symptoms well. Your primary care doctor can now be confident in monitoring your cannabis treatment as a part of all of your healthcare needs. We hope that your time with us has been valuable to you and know that we have appreciated having you as a patient!

Will my care change?

It should get even better. With your doctor in charge of your cannabis treatment, you will have quicker and easier follow-up of your ALL health issues with someone who knows you well.

 

Your relationship with Santé Cannabis isn’t completely over! We will work directly with you until your treatment is stable before you are transferred back to your doctor. We will ensure that your doctor gets a complete and detailed report of your treatment as well as the right info and tools needed to continue your care. While you no longer will be coming regularly to Santé Cannabis for your check-ups, we are available to provide support, answer questions and concerns that either you or your doctor may have via our Nursing Support Services

We encourage you to be open with your doctor, share what you learned about yourself and your health during your time under our care.  Do not hesitate to let your doctor or us know if you feel unsure or have any questions.

What are the benefits?

We are aware that the follow-up delays at our clinic can be long. Now you will not need to have appointments with a specialized clinic or more than one health care institution for your needs. With your own primary doctor in charge of your care, you can be assured that all your information about your health issues and decisions made will be in one place. It’s also a great opportunity to help encourage your doctor to consider medical cannabis as a regular part of any patient’s care.

 

Will Santé Cannabis be contacting my doctor?

Yes. We’re a team – your doctor, you and us. That means we share with your doctor complete reports about your treatment progress and readiness for transfer back into their care. We also will give your doctor help with a plan for your treatment going forward. You will be given the same reports so that you and your doctor can discuss your treatment at your next visit with them.

What if I don’t have a family doctor?

Don’t worry: your referring doctor is able to manage your cannabis treatment. If your referring doctor isn’t your current doctor anymore, your Santé Cannabis doctor will then continue to follow you until you find a family doctor.

I don’t see my doctor regularly, who do I contact if I need help with my cannabis treatment?

That’s ok, whether you see them often or not, your doctor is responsible for your medical cannabis treatment. We recommend making an appointment 3 months in advance of when your medical document from Santé Cannabis expires to make sure you don’t have a gap in your care.

What if my doctor refuses to prescribe cannabis?

Please let us know and we will contact your doctor to help with the transition process. In the meantime, we will continue to work with you at Santé Cannabis to ensure you receive proper treatment.

 

If your doctor needs more training in medical cannabis, we can help with that too! You can refer here for information on our Prescriber Program for doctors.

Once my regular doctor takes over my cannabis care, can I still access patient resources at Sante Cannabis?

Yes. Our health care professionals will remain available to answer your questions, and to ensure you receive quality care. Just contact us here

 

 

Getting Started - Physicians

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.

We are currently implementing an international training program to provide health care professionals with the necessary tools to prescribe medical cannabis. If you are a health care professional interested in authorizing medical cannabis and would like to be kept informed of the launch of the program, please email us at training@santecannabis.ca 

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

If you think your patient may be a good candidate you can refer to us by filling out the referral form and we will assess them.

 

Do healthcare practitioners need a special license to authorize medical cannabis?

No.

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.

Which health care practitioners can authorize medical cannabis?

Licensed physicians can authorize medical cannabis according to the provincial guidelines for physicians. Nurse practitioners may also be eligible to authorize medical cannabis in accordance with provincial guidelines.

Costs

How much does medical cannabis cost?

The costs of medical cannabis varies by Licensed Producer and by the variety of dried cannabis or type of cannabis product.

We will help you decide what works best for you, considering your health needs and your budget. We cannot offer any discounts but can take the time to talk you through your options and their costs.

Does my insurance cover my medical cannabis?

In order for a drug to be eligible for insurance coverage in Canada it must have a drug identification number – which cannabis does not currently have.

There are special cases where cannabis has been covered by some insurance, check with your insurer before submitting your claim.

Medical cannabis (dried cannabis) is currently covered by Veterans Affairs.

Is my medical cannabis tax deductible?

Yes.

Medical cannabis purchased in accordance with the Access to Medical Cannabis under the Cannabis Act is eligible for the medical expense tax credit.

Legality

Is cannabis legal?

Since October 2018, non-medical cannabis has been legalized for adults 18 years of age and older. However, a bill was introduced in December 2018 to increase the age of legality from 18 to 21 years of age.

Legal non-medical cannabis is now available since October 2018 in the various SQDC branches in Quebec and only people aged 18 or over can purchase it. It is also possible to purchase cannabis for medical purposes from licensed producers who will then send your medical cannabis by mail.

 

Did legalization change how Santé Cannabis operates?

No.

Santé Cannabis continues to bring our years of experience with thousands of cannabis patients as a primary partner for patients and health professionals, providing expertise and advocacy. We will continue to ensure access to medical cannabis to our patients and our services will continue and expand as we look forward to the changing cannabis laws.

We will continue to work with patients, caregivers and physicians to create and follow treatment plans.

We strongly believe in the care we provide our patients. Our commitment to support, education, and research will not change after legalization. Our services ensure that patients can access cannabis safely and confidently under the guidance of trained health professionals.

Do I still need a prescription?

Yes.

At Santé Cannabis our patients use cannabis as a medication, and we will continue to prescribe cannabis to patients who require it as an important part of their health. Our doctors and educators will continue to monitor and support patients using medical cannabis.

Cannabis is complex and so is your health, and using cannabis under the supervision of trained healthcare professionals is important. Our physicians and educators will continue to work alongside you, understanding and considering your health history, health goals, and placing importance on your safety – making sure that you understand potential risks such as drug interactions.

After legalization do I still need to be part of a research study?

No.

The Collège des médecins du Québec no longer requires patients to be enrolled in a study in order to access medical cannabis. The field of medical cannabis still requires much more research and your participation in these studies helps ensure that cannabis is treated as a prescribed medication and pros and cons of using cannabis are captured.

Can I purchase my prescribed cannabis at the SQDC?

No.

At Santé Cannabis we create treatment plans detailing types of medical cannabis, dosing, and method of administration. We create individualized plans understanding the specifics of certain products, and these specific products will not necessarily be available at the SQDC.

Are compassion clubs or dispensaries legal? Why are these retailers open?

No.

Retail sale of cannabis (in storefronts) is currently legal.

Only Licensed Producers authorized for commercial sale by Health Canada, and they must deliver product to their clients through the mail, clients cannot walk in and talk to anyone. Santé Cannabis provides support when selecting the right producer and strains.

In Quebec, you can purchase cannabis in-store or online at the SQDC.  Each province has its own legal shops, some are private, while others are governmental.

How do I prove my cannabis is legal?

When you are prescribed cannabis you will have a registration document that comes with your order.

When your prescribed cannabis arrives in the mail it will come with packaging a label that all prove it is legal.

If you need to prove that your cannabis is legal you can provide any of the following:

  • the registration document
  • the label and/or
  • the original packaging.

General Medical Cannabis Questions

Can my symptoms and conditions be treated with medical cannabis?

Many symptoms and conditions can be treated with medical cannabis.

Some symptoms have more evidence to suggest they can be treated with medical cannabis than others. Evidence spans from clinical trials (top researched evidence) to case studies to anecdotal (not research, but some people have noted an improvement.)

From our research into the evidence we list the following as symptoms and conditions that medical cannabis may help treat. If you are experiencing symptoms or conditions not listed here but feel medical cannabis may be a good fit please reach out to us.

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

Do I have to smoke my medical cannabis?

No.

Smoking carries some health risks, and may be difficult for many people. Vaporization is recommended over smoking.

Beyond vaporizing there are several other ways to use medical cannabis, including oil.

We offer nutrition planning and healthy recipes that can provide helpful alternatives to smoking.

Can I use medical cannabis while in hospital?

It depends on the individual hospital policy. Many hospitals will allow you to use cannabis while in the hospital.

It’s hard for me to receive my medical cannabis at home. Can my medical cannabis be shipped to my long-term care facility/shelter/hospice/physician’s office?

Yes.

You will need to get permission and authorization from the manager of the institution or your healthcare provider. All they need to do is fill out a specific section on your registration application.

If I’ve used my medical cannabis can I still drive?

Medical cannabis can cause impairment. It is recommended that patients 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 reaction to cannabinoids, especially high concentrations of THC is 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.

How quickly do my cannabis products expire?

It depends on the product and how you store it.

Most dried cannabis products are sold without a determined expiry date. Depending on storage conditions, dried cannabis products will begin to lose humidity after approximately 90 days- this means the active ingredients, THC and CBD are not as strong and become different chemicals.