Medical marijuana industry sees boost ahead of legalization — but will it last?

Medical marijuana industry sees boost ahead of legalization — but will it last?

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Health Canada is seeing a growing demand for medical marijuana in Nova Scotia ahead of legalization on Oct. 17. (CBC) The medical marijuana industry has benefited from the waning stigma surrounding cannabis use as Canada inches toward legalizing recreational pot, but there’s expectation that could change as of next week. It has led some to wonder what the future holds for the country’s medical marijuana business and research into a contentious treatment. "I suspect that once cannabis becomes legal, there will be fewer patients trying to get a medical prescription to justify the recreational use because they’ll be able to get it at a recreational dealer such as the NSLC [Nova Scotia Liquor Corp.]," said Dr. Tim Holland, president of Doctors Nova Scotia. Holland said he’s seen a spike in the past year in the number of patients who report using cannabis, but he doesn’t believe everyone who comes looking for a prescription is using marijuana as a medical treatment. Dr. Tim Holland, president of Doctors Nova Scotia, expects fewer people will go the medical route once marijuana is legal. (Craig Paisley/CBC) In April 2017, Health Canada reported just over 7,600 medical marijuana authorizations in Nova Scotia. By June 2018, that number was over 13,000. National Access Cannabis on Spring Garden Road in Halifax is seeing an influx of first-time patients. The clinic, which acts as a go-between for Health Canada’s licensed producers and patients, is so busy that people have to wait until December for an appointment, said manager Meghan McIntyre. "The majority of our patients are not currently cannabis users until they become patients here," she said. "A lot of them have never touched cannabis before or it’s been, like, 30 years." Meghan McIntyre is the clinic manager at National Access Cannabis in Halifax. (Robert Guertin/CBC) National […]

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