Jul 18 / 2019

Patients struggle to access legal medical marijuana – study

Most patients were looking to treat pain, insomnia, anxiety, stress and arthritis

A recent survey commissioned by Canadians for Fair Access to Medical Marijuana (CFAMM), the Arthritis Society, and the Canadian Pharmacists Association (CPhA), has revealed that 1 in 4 (26%) consumers of medical marijuana say cannabis is harder to access in the legal market.

In fact reports continue to show that a substantial proportion of those buying cannabis in the non-medical market were doing so to alleviate medical conditions. A staggering 61% were found to be self-medicating without the supervision of a health care professional, which is partly why around 64% of consumers under dose. The survey suggests that most patients were looking to treat pain, insomnia, anxiety, stress and arthritis – 38% of respondents said they relied heavily on cannabis for relief from these conditions.

The difficulty and cost of obtaining a legal product for medicinal use has seen consumers turn to black market sources, a figure as high as 37% claim they buy their cannabis from illicit sellers.

The CFAMM and the Arthritis Society have stressed the need for the medical establishment to normalise medical cannabis in order to improve patient access and physician oversight. They have also called for tax-cuts on medical cannabis, distribution through pharmacies and wider health-insurance coverage.

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