A new Globe and Mail investigation is raising alarming questions about the safety of cannabis being sold illegally in unregulated dispensaries. But for the thousands of Canadians who use regulated and tested medical cannabis, there is another urgent issue researchers are scrambling to address: Does it work?
Background and regulations
Health Canada has not approved the use of medical cannabis, but a court ruling requires the government to “provide reasonable access to a legal source of marijuana when authorized by a health-care practitioner.”
Producers must pass Health Canada’s application and inspection process in order to sell medical marijuana. According to the department, there are currently 34 licensed producers in Canada. More than 53,000 clients were registered with licensed producers during the period between Jan. 1 and March 31, 2016.
There are also