Dr. Sana-Ara Ahmed is a licensed and practicing specialist physician in chronic pain and medical cannabis prescribing in Ontario & Alberta. Her mandate is on educating patients, public and colleague health professionals on the process of medical cannabis accessibility, chronic pain benefits of medical cannabis, reducing stigma and misconceptions of medical cannabis in communities and support mental health addiction centers for substance abuse patients.
To become a medical cannabis patient under the current legal system mandated by Health Canada, please download the Chronic Pain Patient Questionnaire and fill out as best as you can. Please send a completed copy via email to secure email to email@example.com for review and appointment scheduling.
Dr. Sana-Ara is available during the week out of her Alberta office for consultations, and requires the intake questionnaire to be completed prior otherwise you will experience a delay in correspondence with her. Please visit the Contact page to see locations across GTA and Calgary that are points of access for your ACMPR medical cannabis prescription.
Health Canada Medical Cannabis History
In Canada, cannabis is regulated under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act (CDSA). The CDSA prohibits and identifies criminal sanctions for the production, possession and trafficking of marijuana as a Schedule II substance. Sanctions range from fines to prison, depending on the nature of the offence. To date there has been no application to Health Canada for the approval of dried cannabis for a medical purpose under the Food and Drugs Act (FDA), which is the standard process for approval of a therapeutic drug. Therefore dried cannabis is technically not approved for sale as a therapeutic drug and has not been subject to the review, regulations and standards associated with Health Canada's approval process, including clinical testing, quality control, guidelines for dosage, route of administration, contraindications, and reporting and monitoring of adverse reactions.
Due to a Supreme Court of Canada order, an attempt to provide Canadians with access, Health Canada released a research plan for the medical use of marijuana in 1999. In 2001, The Marijuana Medical Access Regulations (MMAR) enabled Canadians with serious diseases access to medicinal marijuana via a medical doctor. In 2013 the MMAR was replaced with the Marijuana for Medical Purposes Regulations (MMPR). The MMPR allows for the licensing of qualified licensed producers to produce and distribute marijuana for Canadians who have been authorized by a medical doctor. However, the MMPR is flawed as Health Canada does not offer education or support for training of health care professionals, leading to further burden upon chronic pain patients struggling to manage their illness all the while blindly trying to negotiate a disjointed health care system that they must lead their own doctor through. A solution must be provided at the provincial health care level, and there is a great need for the creation of a multi-health discipline integrated system that offers patients dignified and equal access to chronic pain treatments that are tailored to their specific medical needs.
Currently the new solution of the ACMPR or the Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations is the only way to be registered with Health Canada to be allowed possession of dried cannabis or cannabis derivatives. It is important to know your rights as a patient, and most important to be set up with an ACMPR license before the Cannabis Act in 2018 comes into place (Bill C45). If you are a medical user, and you are not registered, you will be forced to be considered recreational and will not get the benefits or the subsidization that the ACMPR will provide when that time comes.