High hopes for new medical marijuana clinic in St. John's
Doctors to write prescriptions, but clinic doesn't dispense marijuana.
A new medical marijuana clinic has opened in the Churchill Park area of St. John's, and hopes to create some buzz in the city.
"Unfortunately no lineup yet. Maybe in a couple of weeks once the word gets out there will be a lineup around the building a few times," said Dr. Danial Schecter, who co-founded the first Cannabinoid Clinic in Toronto in 2014.
The St. John's Cannabinoid Clinic opened Wednesday in the Terrace in the Square building. It's part of a chain of five similar clinics that first opened in Ontario,
The new clinic doesn't take walk-in patients. Patients must be referred there by a family doctor or a medical specialist.
"So basically we see patients on a referral basis only," said Schecter.
"It's incredibly important for us to make sure that all healthcare professionals dealing with someone's chronic illness are on the same page.and we are all working towards the same goal," he said.
In St. John's one of three doctors who work at the clinic will assess patients to determine if they will benefit from a cannabis-based treatment.
The physicians bill MCP for their services.
If they determine the patient is a good candidate they write a medical document - essentially a prescription.
With that letter a patient can purchase medical marijuana from a federally licenced medical marijuana producer.
The medications that we currently have for chronic illness often do not provide sufficient relief for patients. - Dr. Danial Schecter
Schecter says the drugs generally cost between $2 to $15 dollars per day.
Physicians say that when medical marijuana is used properly it treats illnesses without creating a "high" or a "buzz."
"Canadians are living with chronic illnesses and the medications that we currently have for chronic illness often do not provide sufficient relief for patients and often don't allow them to be more functional," said Schecter.
"So there is a tremendous need for a new class of medication."