Getting Started - Patients

How do I become a Santé Cannabis Patient?

Fill out our confidential survey.
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?

Yes, 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, 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. **

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 provide free training to healthcare professionals to learn about referring patients to us.

Check out our events page to see current learning opportunities.

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.

We also provide an ongoing webinar series for healthcare practitioners that explores cannabis use in treating different symptoms and conditions.

Do I need to write a prescription for my patient?

No.

We know many physicians are interested in cannabis and cannabinoids as treatment options, but find they do not have time to keep up with medical cannabis research and best-practices.

Think of Santé Cannabis as your partner for specialized medical cannabis services.

Fill out a referral and we will provide an assessment and report to you about your patient.

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.

Dried cannabis generally costs between $5 and $15 per gram and is sold in increments of 5 grams.

Cannabis oil products are sold by the bottle at sizes of 30mL to 100mL, prices vary between $90 and $250 based on the concentration of component cannabinoids. Licensed Producers have recently launched capsules filled with cannabis oil that sell for between $3 and $10 per capsule.

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?

Unfortunately not. 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.

We are working towards changing that through our research. Find out more about what this means on our blog.

Medical cannabis (dried cannabis) is currently covered by Veterans Affairs. There are some individual cases where insurance coverage.

Is my medical cannabis tax deductible?

Yes.

Medical cannabis purchased in accordance with the ACMPR is eligible for the medical expense tax credit.

Legality

Is cannabis legal?

Not yet- on June 7th, the Canadian Senate voted to pass Bill C-45 “The Cannabis Act” to lift the ban on prohibition of cannabis, which means that soon- likely within the next 2-3 months cannabis will be legal under specific rules. Sales of legal cannabis for adult-use will start sometime this fall. Read more from the CBC here.

In Quebec

On Tuesday, Quebec took its official step towards legalization by voting in favour of Bill 157. However the Quebec Guidelines are more restrictive than those laid out in the Federal Guidelines, and will not allow citizens to grow their own plants at home.

Legal cannabis will not be available in retail stores until August at the earliest, and will only be able to be purchased by those 18 years and older.

The Montreal Gazette has published a handy guide of Frequently Asked Questions here.

Stay up-to-date with us through our newsletter and blog as we talk you through what the change in legal status means to you.

Purchases can then be made from a legal distributor that will mail you your cannabis. Currently you cannot access cannabis legally from a storefront.

Cannabis that is not accessed under the Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations (ACMPR) is not legal. The possession, production and distribution (trafficking) of cannabis carries criminal penalties.

Will legalization change how Santé Cannabis operates?

No.

Santé Cannabis will continue 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.

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

Yes.

The Collège des médecins du Québec still requires patients 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.

After legalization will I be able to purchase my prescribed cannabis at a retail shop?

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 be available in a retail shop.

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

No.

Retail sale of cannabis (in storefronts) is not 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. Sante Cannabis provides support when selecting the right producer and strains.

There are currently some retailers operating around Quebec because advocates felt it was important to open even though it isn’t legal – and they have been working for many years to change the legal status of these shops. These retailers are often known as Compassion Clubs because people who ran them felt they were offering a compassionate service.

In some places in Canada, (example, Vancouver) some local governments have created bylaws and business licenses for dispensaries regardless of legal status. But this does not exist in Quebec.

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 a different cannabinoid Cannabinol (CBN).