This month, two clinics specializing in prescription cannabis opened their doors for the first time in Canada’s largest city.
Medical Marijuana Clinics of Canada, run by Dr. Ryan Yermus, celebrated its grand opening on July 1st. A 72-year-old woman seeking relief from severe osteoarthritis was one of the first patients to visit.
“With the new regulations in place, I thought the opportunity was there to create a place that could service these patients and work with them to help them gain access in a way that is non-judgmental,” explains Dr. Yermus.
“And, to work with them to relieve the symptoms they’re suffering from and help them improve their quality of life.”
While medical marijuana has been available through Health Canada for over a decade, new rules introduced in April have turned the once-homegrown program into a large-scale commercial industry.“Medical marijuana can play a meaningful role”Under the government’s new MMPR program, doctors must take on a greater role in authorizing the drug — a responsibility some find too much to bear.
Dr. Danial Schecter, who heads the Cannabinoid Medical Clinic in Toronto, says that fellow physicians have been “waiting anxiously” for his referral-only practice to open.
“Physicians are limited in terms of treating certain conditions,” notes Dr. Schecter, adding that cannabis may offer an effective alternative for patients who don’t respond to standard treatment options.
His clinic, which announced its opening on July 14, will take over for doctors that are unfamiliar or uncomfortable with signing a medical marijuana form.
“When prescribed correctly and under the supervision of knowledgeable physicians, prescription cannabinoids or medical marijuana can play a meaningful role in a patient’s treatment plan, effectively managing symptoms and improving quality of life,” explains Dr. Schecter.
Both the Cannabinoid Medical Clinic and Medical Marijuana Clinics of Canada offer education programs on the use of cannabis as well as follow-up visits to ensure that patients are using marijuana safely.
“We are pleased to be able to serve and educate, doctors and patients,” says Dr. Schecter.[Toronto Star] [Metro News]