Cannabis for Medical Purposes

The health and well-being of Veterans is a top priority for the Government of Canada. This was the fundamental consideration in the development of VAC’s new reimbursement policy for cannabis for medical purposes.

The reimbursement policy on cannabis for medical purposes became effective on November 22, 2016. The policy establishes a reimbursement limit of three grams per day of cannabis for medical purposes sold by licensed producers or its equivalent in fresh marijuana or cannabis oil.

There is an exceptional approval process for Veterans authorized for more than three grams per day that will ensure their health and well-being through consultation with relevant medical specialists.

Consistent with how the Department administers its other health care benefits, a rate of up to $8.50 per gram has been established. The rate will ensure that what Veterans are charged, and the Department reimburses, is a fair market value price.

On Friday, November 10, the Government of Canada announced the launch of consultations on how the excise duty will be applied to cannabis. Consultations will be ongoing until December 7, 2017.

At this point it is unclear what impact, if any, the excise duty might have on products that Veterans access. We will watch the situation closely and make adjustments to the reimbursement policy, as necessary, so that clients are not out of pocket as a result of these tax implications.

Interested individuals or organizations are invited to review the Finance Canada consultations documents. Individuals can also provide written comments by December 7, 2017 to fin.cannabis-taxation-cannabis.fin@canada.ca.

Are you having trouble finding a specialist? Your provincial chapter of College of Family Physicians of Canada can help.

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