Below you will find answers to some of the commonly asked questions about medical cannabis.
Becoming a Patient with Greenleaf
Are you a dispensary?
No, we are not a dispensary. We are a specialized medical cannabis clinic. All patient assessments are by appointment only.
How much is your membership fee?
Our membership fee is based on a sliding scale that is determined by your income.
- Annual income: $99
- Annual income less than $30,000: $75
- Paediatric patients: $150
- Growing your own cannabis: $200
For more information on what's included with our membership, click here.
Do you require a doctor’s referral?
Yes, we do require a referral. If you regularly visit a walk-in clinic or do have a family doctor, we can request a referral on your behalf. Alternatively, if you are a BC resident with a valid healthcare number we have a physician that will assess you for the appropriateness of medical cannabis and refer you to one of our cannabis prescribing physicians.
How do doctors refer their patients for medical cannabis?
Your physician will be able to find our patient referral form here. Completed forms can be faxed to our clinic at 604-371-2044.
How long will it take for me to get an appointment?
On average the process is 2–4 weeks. This is dependant on when we receive your paperwork and records from your medical office.
How is my appointment conducted?
All appointments are conducted over zoom. If you don’t have access to zoom we can set up a phone call.
Does my healthcare plan cover costs for this appointment?
The cost for the appointment is income tax deductible and you will receive an invoice upon your appointment. Medical plans do not cover the cost of this medication or appointment. If you are a member of Veterans Affairs please inform our office staff at the time of booking.
Where do I send my tax documents or notice of assessment to see if I qualify for compassionate pricing?
Our office is happy to accept your tax documents or notice of assessment to determine if you qualify for compassionate pricing with Greenleaf Medical Clinic. Please e-mail your documents to email@example.com.
What is included on the medical document?
The medical document includes information such as the daily amount of cannabis needed, the duration of the prescription as well as any restrictions.
How long after my appointment can I order my medication?
After your appointment with us, please give our office 1-2 business days to send your prescription along with any other required documents to the licensed seller. Once your prescription has been submitted to the licensed seller the timeline will depend on their registration team. The average time for registration with a licensed seller is approximately 3-5 business days once the medical documents have been received.
What is the daily dosage your doctor will recommend?
While the daily gram per day amount does vary from patient to patient our clinic does not sign applications for over 5 grams per day. No exceptions.
Do you handle my registration paperwork with my licensed seller?
When you are assessed in the clinic, your cannabis educator will either ask you to complete paper registration forms or will register you online. If you are assessed using telemedicine, you will be required to complete the online registration forms for your licensed seller.
What is your cancellation policy?
If a patient wishes to cancel or re-book their appointment it must be done so within 1 full week prior to their appointment date. Failure to cancel or re-book within this time period will subject you to a non-refundable charge. Cancellations and re-bookings can only be done by speaking to our staff in person or by telephone. E-mails and voice mails will not be accepted. No exceptions.
How can I access medical cannabis?
The Greenleaf Medical Clinic makes it easy to access medical cannabis in Canada! To learn more about our simple 9-step process click here to get started.
Am I eligible for the licensed seller's veterans program?
You will be considered for the licensed seller's veterans program if you are a person who is serving or who has honourably served in the Canadian Armed Forces, the Commonwealth or its wartime allies, or as a Regular Member of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, or as a Peace Officer in a Special Duty Area or on a Special Duty Operation, or who has served in the Merchant Navy or Ferry Command during wartime.
Will the licensed seller provide pre-approval and direct billing?
Once you have provided the required and valid documentation, most licensed sellers will cover the cost of your order until Veterans Affairs Canada (VAC) confirms your coverage.
While awaiting approval from Veterans Affairs Canada (VAC), you may be eligible for a pre-coverage program. Which will cover the cost of up to 3 grams per day. This ensures you’ll receive your medical cannabis right away, without paying out of pocket.
Are all medical cannabis products completely covered?
Once you have been approved for coverage by Veterans Affairs Canada (VAC), you may order any medical cannabis products that Veterans Affairs Canada (VAC) covers.
If there is a cost difference beyond the Veterans Affairs Canada (VAC) reimbursement rate of $8.50 per gram, most licensed sellers will cover the remaining cost, on all of their medical cannabis products available.
Medical Cannabis 101
What is medical cannabis?
The term “medical cannabis” is used to describe products derived from the whole cannabis plant or its extracts containing a variety of active cannabinoids and terpenes, which patients take for medical reasons, after interacting with and obtaining authorization from their healthcare practitioner.
What are the known benefits of medical cannabis?
There is moderate to substantial evidence of the potential therapeutic uses for medical cannabis or its component chemicals (cannabinoids) in treating various symptoms such as chronic pain, HIV/AIDS-associated weight loss, nausea/vomiting associated with cancer chemotherapy, and spasticity with multiple sclerosis.
Source: The Health Effects of Cannabis and Cannabinoids: The Current State of Evidence and Recommendations for Research - National Academic of Sciences (2017)
Can cannabis be addictive?
Research has shown that using cannabis regularly and over a long time, especially when use begins in early adolescence, i.e. age 16 and under, can cause changes in how the brain and body respond to cannabis and lead to problems with cannabis use and addiction.
Is it possible to develop dependence on medical cannabis?
Yes, abrupt discontinuation after long-term use may result in withdrawal symptoms. Additionally, chronic use may result in psychological dependence.
Does medical cannabis have a DIN?
Pharmacological cannabinoids such as Sativex® (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol-cannabidiol) and Cesamet® (nabilone) have been approved for specific indications by Health Canada, however medical cannabis does not have a Drug Identification Number (DIN). When Health Canada classifies it as a prescription drug, a DIN will be issued to medical cannabis to aid patients with reimbursement.
Who can authorize medical cannabis?
Cannabis can be accessed by medical cannabis appropriate patients who have an authorization/prescription from a medical doctor or nurse practitioner.
What role can pharmacists play in medical cannabis?
Even though pharmacists are not dispensing medical cannabis at this time, it is important for pharmacists to understand how their patients may use and access medical cannabis in order to provide effective medication management. Pharmacists may provide counselling on areas such as contraindications, drug interactions, management of side effects, alternative therapies, potential addictive behaviour, and appropriate use.
Source: Medical Cannabis FAQ – Canadian Pharmacists Association
What are the main active ingredients in cannabis?
The chemical ingredients of cannabis are called cannabinoids. The two main therapeutic ones are:
a. Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is a partial agonist of CB1 and CB2 receptors. It is psychoactive and produces a euphoric effect.
b. Cannabidiol (CBD) has a weak affinity for CB1 and CB2 receptors and appears to exert its activity by enhancing the positive effects of the body’s endogenous cannabinoids.
What is the difference between medical and recreational cannabis?
Patients taking cannabis for medical reasons generally use cannabinoids to alleviate symptoms while minimizing intoxication, whereas recreational users may be taking cannabis for euphoric effects. Medical cannabis is authorized by a prescriber who provides a medical document allowing individuals to obtain from a licensed producer or apply to Health Canada to grow their own, whereas recreational cannabis is currently obtained through illicit means.
What is the difference between hemp and cannabis CBD?
“Hemp” and “cannabis” are terms for the same species of plant, cannabis sativa. Although similar in appearance, the term “hemp” is used to classify cannabis plants that contain no more than 0.3% tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).
What are terpenes?
The therapeutic effects of other compounds found in cannabis material, such as terpenes, are not yet well understood. There are still no human studies to date on the potential benefits of terpenes, only animal-based research. Learn more about the terpenes found in cannabis and their potential therapeutic benefits here.
What is the entourage effect?
The entourage effect is a proposed mechanism by which cannabis compounds other than tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) act synergistically with it to modulate the overall psychoactive effects of the plant.
Health & Safety
Is medical cannabis safe?
Cannabis has a superior safety profile compared to many other medications, and there are no recorded deaths due to an overdose of cannabis. THC-related side effects are most common but can be reduced or prevented by a “start low and go slow” dosing strategy. Your doctor will discuss other possible side-effects with you, and Health Canada provides more information here.
What if you experience side effects to THC?
If mild or moderate: Contact a friend or family member and talk it out, sit in a quiet place and take some deep breathes to calm you down or distract yourself with music or a movie.
If serious: Contact a friend or family member to drive you to the emergency room or call 911.
What is the recommended way to store my cannabis?
Store you cannabis in a room temperature location, ensuring that it is away from any children and pets.
What routes of administration are recommended?
Dried Cannabis: It can be consumed orally or by inhalation (vaporizing). The route of administration will depend on physician recommendation and availability through the licensed producer.
Cannabis oil: It can be consumed orally (under the tongue) or mixed with food. Cannabis oils, provided by licensed producers, can not be vaporized due to the carrier oils used.
What is the difference in effect of inhaled cannabis and oral cannabis?
Cannabis oil is processed differently by the body to dried cannabis. Cannabis oil creates a gradual onset of effects that are longer lasting than smoking or vaporizing dried cannabis.
Cannabis consumption and driving?
Effects of impairment, including attention, concentration and decision-making deficits, can last up to 24 hours and even longer for some individuals.
Avoid driving, operating machinery important decisions, or activity alike for at least 4 hours after inhalation, 6 hours after ingestion of oils or edibles, 8 hours after any feeling of euphoria and longer than 8 hours if feeling intoxicated.
Can I travel with medical cannabis?
It is illegal to travel across the border and internationally with cannabis (marijuana) in your possession.
In the case of a domestic flight, please be advised that unforeseen situations may and do arise that require a domestic flight to divert to a U.S. airport, where arriving in possession of cannabis is not legal.
If you are refused entry into a country because you have cannabis in your possession, you alone will be responsible for the consequences, including for payment of your return trip home.
What dosage should I be taking?
After your appointment with a cannabis educator, you will learn how to dose properly for your condition and symptoms. As it is a personalized medication, each person’s dosing strategy is customized to them and dependant on the product and strain they are using.
I’ve had an adverse effect to cannabis where do I report it?
Do I need to make any dosing adjustments for THC or CBD if I have kidney disease?
No, making adjustments is not required as cannabis-based medicines taken orally are metabolized by the liver, not the kidneys.
If I have seasonal allergies, will I have an allergy to cannabis?
In a 2021 survey investigating cannabis use in patients with allergies/asthma, the respondents who used cannabis experienced positive effects more frequently than negative effects.
Laws & Regulations
Who needs to report a loss or theft of cannabis?
Loss or theft reporting: Any losses that cannot be explained on the basis of normally accepted operations or business activities, as applicable such as manufacturer’s shortages; unexplained yield loss during manufacturing or packaging; and other unexplained loss should also be reported by a licence holder per the regulations. Registered and designated persons, pharmacists, practitioners, health care practitioners and hospitals must report any loss or theft to the CSCB after becoming aware of the loss or theft.
Reporting to the police: It is mandatory for licence holders and registered/designated persons to report losses or thefts pertaining to cannabis to the police within 24 hours of the date of discovery. Pharmacists, healthcare practitioners, practitioners or hospitals do not need to report losses or thefts to the police.
For more information, click here.
Where can cannabis be used?
Depending on where you live, the rules for recreational cannabis use in public vary. In some jurisdictions (such as Alberta’s proposed regulations), the only restrictions are that you are not permitted to consume near hospitals, schools or childcare facilities. In other provinces, such as Ontario, consumption may be banned from anywhere outside of your private residence. In shared buildings such as apartments and condominiums, you may not even be able to use the recreational products in your own residence.
Medical cannabis rules are different: your legal rights allow you to smoke or vaporize your medicine in public, as long as you do so in a space that is also designated for public tobacco use.
It’s worth noting that oils and edibles are allowed anywhere, as long as they are for medical purposes. It’s also worth noting that Greenleaf Medical Clinic does NOT endorse smoking of any product, for any reason, as smoking poses known risks to overall health. Vaporizing is different than smoking.
How much medical cannabis can I possess?
The lesser of 150 grams or a 30-day supply of dried cannabis (or the equivalent in cannabis product) in addition to the 30 grams allowed for non-medical purposes
For more information, click here.
How much cannabis can I possess at home?
Under provincial and territorial rules, the amount of cannabis someone can possess at home is as follows:
No Limits: Alberta, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, the Northwest Territories, Nova Scotia, Ontario and Prince Edward Island
British Columbia: 1,000 grams
Nunavut and Quebec: 150 grams
Saskatchewan and Yukon: No amount has been set
How do I show proof of legal possession of cannabis for medical purposes?
If asked by law enforcement, you can demonstrate that you are in legal possession of cannabis for medical purposes obtained from a licensed producer by showing either the label on the package containing your specific client information or the separate document containing the same information which accompanied your shipment of cannabis.
Health Canada Licensed Sellers
What is a licensed seller?
A licensed seller holds a licence issued by Health Canada, under the Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations, to produce quality-controlled cannabis under secure and sanitary conditions.
How can I change my licensed seller?
Follow these simple steps…
- Choose a company from the link here.
- Contact your current licensed seller, to request that they fax the original medical document to the new company of your choice.
- Visit the website of the new licensed seller to register as a patient.
- Advise Greenleaf of your licensed seller change.
- If you require a new treatment plan, please contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Is the cannabis produced by licensed sellers quality controlled?
Licensed sellers are required to follow the technical specification for testing dried cannabis for medical purposes. This document is available on the Health Canada website and outlines the conditions that must be met for quality assurance. Health Canada inspects licensed sellers to ensure they meet the requirements of the regulations, including these specifications. You can find more information here.
How many licensed sellers are there?
Currently, there are over 100 Health Canada-approved licensed sellers. For more information click here.
Can I choose any licensed seller?
Yes, you can obtain your medical cannabis from the licensed seller of your choice. Our cannabis educators will work with you during your appointment to help you figure out which licensed seller would be fit your needs the best.
What do I do if my licensed seller doesn’t have my product?
There is nothing more frustrating than going to place your order and your licensed seller has no inventory. We apologize for the hassle. However, their inventory levels are out of our control.
If this happens, please contact us and we will either substitute your product or change you to a different licensed seller.
How will my cannabis be shipped from the licensed seller?
Your cannabis will be sent to you directly by the licensed seller. The Controlled Drugs and Substances Act (CDSA) prohibits the possession, trafficking, import and export, and production of controlled substances, including marijuana, unless authorized by regulations. Neither the ACMPR nor any other Health Canada regulations authorize licensed sellers to provide cannabis for medical purposes through a storefront.
How do I obtain my medication after I am legal? What does it cost?
You will obtain your medication from the legal licensed commercial seller that you have registered with. Prices vary from $3.00-$12.00 per gram depending on your own personal needs.
How do I order my medication?
Licensed sellers offer secure online shopping, credit card phone orders and mail-in orders for our patients. Some licensed sellers will also offer e-transfers.
Why hasn’t my licensed seller contacted me yet?
All good things take time. The licensed seller can take 5 business days to complete your registration. If you have not heard from the company by the 5th day, let us know and we will follow up for you.
Please note: You will not be able to place an order until you have confirmation from your licensed seller that your account has been activated.
How long will it take for my prescription to become approved with my licensed seller?
All licensed commercial sellers have their own approval timeline. The approval can take a few days to a few weeks.
Do you handle all my documentation to a licensed commercial seller?
Although a patient is responsible for completing their documentation we do a review, correct, make copies of and send all documentation to the licensed commercial seller of your choice by courier. Any changes such as an address change after your application has been approved will be the responsibility of the patient.
Does the Government of Canada fund First Nations cannabis product prescriptions?
At this time, cannabis is not included on the Drug Benefit List for First Nations and Inuit. Compassionate pricing discounts are offered through licensed Sellers of cannabis under the cannabis act to individuals who earn less than $40K annually.
Growing Your Own Cannabis
What is ACMPR?
The Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations or ACMPR is the newest set of regulations put forth by Health Canada to give qualified patients access to safe, high-quality medical cannabis. Under these regulations, patients are required to obtain a medical document from their physician, which acts as a prescription for cannabis. Once you obtain this medical document you may choose a licensed seller to register as a patient. Your chosen licensed producer will verify the medical document and your registration forms.
How can I apply to grow medical cannabis?
With the appropriate medical document from your healthcare practitioner, you can apply to register with Health Canada to produce cannabis for your own medical purposes or to designate someone to produce it for you.
How much cannabis am I allowed to grow?
For those who wish to grow with a registration certificate from Health Canada, patients are capped to their number of prescribed grams per day, using a plant equivalency ratio. It’s easy to figure out how many plants Health Canada will enable you to grow: for every gram per day your doctor sets out on the medical document, you’ll be able to grow 5 indoor or 2 outdoor plants. Therefore, an individual with a 3 gram per day license may grow up to 15 indoor plants.
Do I need to purchase seed or clones to start my grow?
At present, legally registered medical cannabis patients are only allowed to purchase seeds from licensed sellers regulated by Health Canada.
Make sure you buy feminized seeds. Only unfertilized female cannabis plants produce the seedless buds desired by cannabis users.
Some licensed cannabis sellers also sell clones or pre-germinated plants cut from a mother plant. Cloned plants are more expensive than seeds, but are guaranteed to be female because they’re a perfect genetic copy of the mother plant.
Will I need a special room to grow in?
Growing a bountiful crop of cannabis indoors requires a fully enclosed area in order to properly manage temperature, light and humidity levels.
It is recommended that novice growers purchase a light-proof, vented “grow tent” to house their cannabis garden within another room. These grow tents are light-proof, very durable, trap all the odour in and come in a range of sizes, but it’s very beginner-friendly.
Do I need to supply Health Canada with the original medical document or is a copy acceptable?
You’ll need to provide an original medical document to Health Canada in order to register to grow your own, a copy of this document will not be accepted.
What if I’m already registered with an licensed seller, can I still apply to grow my own?
You may continue to fill your prescription with your licensed seller – you will however be required to obtain a new prescription from your healthcare practitioner in order to apply to grow as Health Canada requires the original.
Can my chosen licensed seller give back my original medical document so I can apply to grow through Health Canada?
Unfortunately, as per ACMPR Prohibition – transfer of document, a licensed seller must not transfer to any person a medical document on the basis of which a client has already been registered. You must obtain another medical document from your healthcare practitioner.
Can I purchase from a licensed seller and grow my own?
Anyone with a valid registration certificate will be able to access the licensed seller supply “in the interim” before they are able to harvest products. However, you must provide a copy of the registration certificate in order to register with ONE licensed seller – We suggest to consider discussing with your physician to have 2 prescriptions; one to apply to grow and one to ensure continuous accessible supply to your medicine as the application may be a lengthy one. It is for you and your physician to discuss what would be best for you.