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Cannabis for medical purposes

October 17, 2018
ACP provides guidance for pharmacy and an introduction to the Cannabis Act and regulations.

Today, October 17, 2018, the Cannabis Act and Regulations come into effect. ACP has written two documents to support pharmacy practices under the new legislation:

It is important that you always read and interpret these documents in conjunction with one another.

This is the first in a series of articles addressing the legislation.

A few important highlights to remember include the following:

  • Pharmacists and pharmacy technicians cannot compound cannabis for medical purposes, nor can pharmacists authorize (prescribe) or adapt an authorization for cannabis for medical purposes.
  • Pharmacies cannot sell or promote cannabis for medical purposes without holding a licence issued by Health Canada.
  • Pharmacists and pharmacy technicians must comply with ACP’s Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice for Pharmacists and Pharmacy Technicians when caring for individuals who may benefit from cannabis for medical purposes.
  • Pharmacists should base their assessment and advice on the accepted clinical guidelines recognized by ACP Council, Simplified Guidelines for Prescribing Medical Cannabinoids in Primary Care published  by the College of Family Physicians of Canada.
  • Pharmacists should educate individuals and the public about the potential benefit and risks associated with cannabis use.
  • Pharmacies cannot be licensed to sell cannabis for recreational use and pharmacists and pharmacy technicians must not direct or recommend that individuals obtain cannabis for medical purposes through sites licensed to sell cannabis for recreational use.

As we become more learned about the new legislation, we will share our insights with you and modify these documents as appropriate.