Patients across Canada have been taking part in the Canadian Medicinal Cannabis program for a variety of reasons. Perhaps you suffer from chronic pain, or perhaps you have been prescribed medicinal cannabis for your anxiety. Maybe your physician has suggested medicinal cannabis for insomnia or to help increase your appetite. The list of reasons for being prescribed medicinal cannabis is a long one.

That being said, the Medicinal Cannabis program in Canada can be complex, and many patients tend to have questions surrounding the program, even after a consultation with their physician. The reason for that is that the Medicinal Cannabis Program in Canada is very much uncharted waters for some. With changes to legislation and Cannabis store fronts that seem to appear overnight, it is no wonder why so many patients feel overwhelmed when it comes to this program.

The most common question that is asked by patients is “what is a licensed producer?” The answer is actually quite straight forward. Licensed producers are companies that are equipped with pharmaceutical specialists, chemists and growers that have obtained the license to grow, harvest, dry and process medicinal cannabis by the government of Canada. In the last few months, licensed producers have also been given the authority to sell seeds for individual growers who have obtained an individual license to grow from the government of Canada.

Operations of Licensed producers are overseen by the Government of Canada and must abide by the guidelines set out by the Canadian Government when it comes to how and where they grow their crops. They are also obligated to maintain the safety of the public as their first priority. A licensed producer is obligated to issue a recall on any and all products that do not meet the guidelines that are set out by the government for the safety of the public.

A licensed producer of LP differs from a dispensary in many ways. The first and perhaps the most significant difference being the legality of each of these organizations. In contrast to the licensed and regulated LPs in Canada, Medicinal Cannabis Dispensaries are not legal.

This can be confusing, given that medicinal cannabis dispensaries can be easily spotted in many parts of the city. Although many dispensaries appear to be legitimate due to the fact that many of them operate during business hours and advertise their services to the public, it remains that as far as the law outlines, these establishments are not legal, and therefore, neither is the act of purchasing medicinal cannabis from them.

The fact of the matter is that dispensaries, although not discrete, are not legal and are not operating legally. They are not regulated, meaning that their quality assurance is not being monitored. They are not mandated to issue recalls on products that are not safe. Their growing procedures are not overseen by any third party organization.

Dispensary operators are not medically trained . While they often do have experience in the field of cannabis, their advice is not to be taken in place of the advice of your physician.

By obtaining a medicinal cannabis license from your physician, you are agreeing to use medicinal cannabis as per the instruction of your physician. This means that you are also agreeing to use medicinal cannabis in the safest way while abiding by the laws in Canada.

Because your care physician has taken the time to understand the complexities of your medical condition and medical history, your physician is the greatest resource when it comes to questions you may have about how and when to use medicinal cannabis. For your safety and to ensure that you are following the Canadian laws, your physician will undoubtedly refer you to a licensed producer.