In 2001, The Marijuana Medical Access Regulations (MMAR) enabled Canadians with serious diseases access to medicinal marijuana. Information on Health Canada's MMAR program including up-to-date statistics on the program, a guide on the physicians' role in the process, the position of the CMA, CMPA recommendations, court decisions that have shaped the MMAR Program and more.
December 2012, Health Canada announced revisions to the Marihuana Medical Access Program.
- Marihuana for Medical Purposes Regulations
- Health Canada's Announcement
We would like to thank CCIC members who contributed to these comments.
We aim to have updated information on the new Marihuana for Medical Purposes Regulations (MMPR) in January 2013. If you would like to contribute to this section of the website please send any suggested content by email to email@example.com .
This form may be filled out by a GP or a specialist. They are for patients with the following diagnoses: Multiple Sclerosis, Epilepsy, Spinal Cord injury or Spinal Cord disease, cancer, HIV/AIDS or severe arthritis. B1 forms may also be used for patients who are terminally ill, for compassionate end-of-life care, no matter what the diagnosis.
The B2 form can be filled out by a specialist in a field appropriate to the patient’s medical condition, or by a general practitioner if the GP has consulted an appropriate specialist who is aware that marijuana is being considered as an alternative treatment.
Examples would include a gastroenterologist or ID specialist for HCV-related anorexia and cachexia; a neurologist or physiatrist for dystonic syndromes or for neurogenic pain not related to spinal cord injury, or a psychiatrist for anxiety disorder or insomnia.
It is important to note that the practitioner does not need to condone or agree with the patient’s use of marijuana for a given diagnosis. One simply has to state that they are aware that conventional treatments have not worked, and the patient is using or wishes to consider using marijuana as an alternative therapy.
|Form||What it is||Who completes this form|
|Form A||The statement identifying the applicant.||To be completed by the patient.|
|Form B 1||Medical practitioners form for category 1 applicants.||To be completed by the applicants practitioner.|
|Form B 2||Medical practitioners form for category 2 applicants.||To be completed by the applicants practitioner.|
|Marihuana medical access regulations daily amount fact sheet (dosage)|
|Information you should know about your authorization to possess dried marihuana|
|Information for Health Care Professionals - Updated September 2010.|
|Dried marijuana information - Lot 45, February 2009|
|Questions and answers regarding amendments to Marihuana Medical Access Regulations|
The Health Canada website on the Marijuana Medical Access Regulations contains other information and should also be explored. Click here to access the Health Canada MMAR site.
The CMA has always recognized and acknowledged the unique requirements of those individuals suffering from a terminal illness or chronic disease for which conventional therapies have not been effective and for whom marijuana for medicinal purposes may provide relief. However, there are a number of problems with the current Medical Marijuana access program. In order to find a solution to these outstanding problems, CMA makes the following recommendations.
1. The advancement of scientific knowledge about medical marijuana must be encouraged. Given that there are currently over 4,000 patients receiving medical marijuana from Health Canada, CMA encourages the Government to properly study the safety, efficacy, most appropriate amount to be used, and the most effective delivery mechanism for treatment of specific conditions. The same safety and evidence standards should apply to medical marijuana as to pharmaceutical products under the FDA.
2. With the increasing number of patients being prescribed medical marijuana, it is imperative that physicians know and understand the regulations and the use of medical marijuana in their practice settings. As such, CMA calls on the Government to work with the CMA, the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons, and other relevant stakeholders, to develop compulsory education and licensing programs for physicians who prescribe marijuana.
3. Finally, until the problems with the MMARs are rectified, CMA lacks the basis upon which to revise its current policy. Physicians who wish to prescribe marijuana in their practices should consult relevant CMPA policy and guidelines in order to ensure appropriate medico-legal protection.
To access the full policy on CMA PolicyBase click HERE
The Canadian Medical Association will:
The CMA has always recognized and acknowledged the unique requirements of those individuals suffering from a terminal illness or chronic disease for which conventional therapies have not been effective and for whom marijuana for medicinal purposes may provide relief.
The new regulations (introduced in June 2005) reduced the onus on physicians to declare the need for, and dose of, marijuana, focusing instead on an attestation of diagnosis and failure of conventional therapies.
The government has now passed regulations which are an improvement to previous regulations. These regulations reduce the potential impact on the patient-physician relationship.
The CMA provided input to the revised medical marijuana regulations and accepts that physicians who feel qualified to recommend this product to patients do so in accordance with the regulations.
The advancement of scientific knowledge about medical marijuana must be encouraged. In order to encourage the research that is necessary to advance such knowledge, government should develop innovative methods to establish the safety, efficacy, most appropriate amount to be used, and the most effective delivery mechanism for treatment of specific conditions. The same safety standards should apply to medical marijuana as to pharmaceutical health products.
Accessed at CMA.ca. For the background and full article please visit the CMA website.
Found in the CMA Policy Base, 11 July, 2009.
The Canadian Medical Protective Association recommends “that physicians who complete the medical declaration ask the applicant to sign a release from liability” and keep a copy for future use. For more information please visit the CMPA website.
Release form for medical practitioners (MMAR) - pdf