Feds allow marijuana use by veterans for medical purposes

Veterans will be reimbursed for the purchase of up to three grams a day of medical marijuana at a price set at $8.50 per gram.

  • Nov. 23, 2016 6:00 a.m.

The Canadian National Medical Marijuana Association (CNMMA) applauds Veterans Affairs Canada (VAC) for including cannabis oils (along with fresh marijuana) in their coverage for veterans, particularly those veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

CNMMAThe policy allows up to “three grams per day of cannabis for medical purposes sold by licensed producers or the equivalent value in fresh marijuana or cannabis oil.”

A rate of up to $8.50 per gram has been established.

Under special circumstances, veterans may be approved to attain more than three grams a day to “ ensure their health and well-being through consultation with relevant medical specialists.”

“In March of 2016, I was surprised to learn that Veterans Affairs Canada did not have a policy on marijuana for medical purposes,” Kent Hehr, Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defence, said in a press release from his ministry.

“I tasked my department with reviewing marijuana for medical purposes and this new reimbursement policy is the result. We consulted with Veterans, their advocates, stakeholders, medical experts and reviewed existing research on using marijuana for medical purposes and developed a balanced policy. This policy has the health and well-being of Veterans and their families at its heart.

“Veterans Affairs will continue to monitor developments in the field of marijuana for medical purposes and as new information becomes available we will be flexible, adapt and adjust as required,” Hehr concluded.

In response, Deepak Anand, executive director of the Canadian National Medical Marijuana Association, said the Veterans Affairs ministry had “developed this balanced policy which allows for reimbursement for cannabis for medical purposes sold by licensed producers. Our members and industry say thank you to Minister Hehr and his government for this new policy that will benefit veterans across Canada.”

Read the federal announcement with associated links at http://news.gc.ca/web/article-en.do?nid=1158629.

“As an industry association,” Anand said, “we continue to work with stakeholders within and outside the industry along with all levels of government in furthering access to cannabis for medical purposes for Canadians.”

The purpose of the Canadian National Medical Marijuana Association is to ensure all Canadian patients who benefit from medical marijuana in Canada, have access to the highest quality of product and services, to meet their specific health care needs in a safe, well-regulated environment.

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