Canada’s medical marijuana program continues to grow, with more than 30,000 new patients enrolling in the last quarter alone.
Canada’s medical marijuana patient count surged 168 percent from just one year ago, marking three straight years of growth.
Using data provided by Health Canada, Marijuana Business Daily reports that more than 30,000 patients enrolled in the medical marijuana program in the second quarter of 2017, bumping the nation’s total patient count up by 20 percent. The number of patients registered in the thriving program now exceeds 200,000, up from the nearly 24,000 who were signed up at the end of the second quarter of 2015.
Health Canada originally estimated the number of registered medical marijuana patients would hit 425,000 by 2024. Those predictions now appear conservative, considering the program’s growth trajectory and physicians and patients becoming even more comfortable with prescribing and consuming cannabis. Even Canadian military veterans have reportedly been signing up for the program, opting to replace traditional prescription medications with cannabis.
Under Canada’s Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations law, patients 18 years and older that have obtained a prescription from a licensed medical care provider can purchase and possess a 30-day supply of marijuana, up to 150 grams. Medical marijuana can be prescribed for chemotherapy side effects, HIV and AIDS, pain and muscle spasms associated with multiple sclerosis, neuropathic pain, severe refractory cancer-associated pain, insomnia and depression, and to manage symptoms associated with palliative or end-of-life care.
Canada medical marijuana program is regulated at the federal level, allowing the country’s licensed producers and distributors are able to operate without concern of federal interference. As a result, legal marijuana is more easily accessible to patients.
The program’s patient counts are expected to continue to increase, although the rate of growth has slowed over recent months. Because of impending recreational marijuana legalization, scheduled to take effect by July 2018, potential patients may be now holding out for the adult use market.
With demand for cannabis expected to exceed supply once Canada launches its recreational market, Health Canada recently licensed nine more growers to bring the country’s total count of producers to 58. Canada’s biggest licensed producer of medical marijuana recently bought additional land to double the total volume of cannabis it can grow.
Canada’s adult use market is projected to generate $4.5 billion in annual sales by 2021, and the combined demand for recreational and medical marijuana could reach up to 575,000 kilograms by that time. The proposed law would allow Canadians 18 years and older to purchase up to 30 grams of marijuana through online and mail ordering, and to grow up to four cannabis plants for personal use.
Cannabidiol (CBD) hemp oil products, including Medical Marijuana, Inc.’s Real Scientific Hemp OilTM (RSHOTM), are currently available in Canada, the United States, and over 40 other countries. CBD hemp oil, unlike medical marijuana, is made from high-CBD, low-THC hemp. Because hemp contains only trace levels of THC, CBD oil products made from hemp are non-psychoactive.