PEI

Medical cannabis belongs in pharmacies, says Arthritis Society

Canada's Arthritis Society is taking advantage of the federal election to lobby the federal parties to change some of the ways medical marijuana is handled.

Should be treated like other medications, says society

Patients not growing their own medical cannabis usually order online. (Susan Montoya Bryan/Associated Press)

Canada's Arthritis Society is taking advantage of the federal election to lobby the federal parties to change some of the ways medical marijuana is handled.

They're asking the parties to commit to lift the $1 a gram federal excise tax, and have medical cannabis dispensed only at pharmacies.

"Just like other prescription medications," said Jone Mitchell, the society's executive director for Atlantic Canada.

"That will ensure that patients receive reliable education from trained health care professionals on the safe and effective use. And they also have an understanding of the other medications their patients may be taking."

Currently, medical cannabis users who aren't licensed to grow their own will usually have the product mailed to them from a licensed supplier, which takes time. Mitchell said picking up medical marijuana at a local pharmacy would be easier and faster.

Parties respond

The Green Party has committed in its platform to getting rid of the $1 a gram federal excise tax on medical marijuana, but didn't respond to questions from CBC News about it being sold only in pharmacies.

The Conservative Party says they are currently reviewing all the aspects of the marijuana file, including tax policy.

The NDP says it would drop the tax on medical marijuana, but did not respond regarding selling it in pharmacies.

CBC News did not receive a response from the Liberal Party.

More from CBC News

With files from Laura Chapin

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