On October 17, 2018, Canada was the first G7 country to legalize cannabis for recreational use. With the legalization of cannabis comes many questions for both medical marijuana and recreational users alike. Medical marijuana users may ask questions such as, “Do I even need my medical marijuana license anymore?” or “Should I continue going to licensed producer (LP) for my medical cannabis?” The answer is, yes! There are many benefits to obtaining a medical marijuana license.
Without a medical marijuana license, you’ll have to ensure that you don’t have any paraphernalia to avoid any challenges when travelling. If you have travelled at all since legalization, you might have noticed disposal points for cannabis products in the airport or at the border. But if you are a medical marijuana license holder and you’re flying within Canada, you can fly legally, as long as you are carrying products that are provided from one of Canada’s licensed producers.
Just like any other investment you might make, you should ensure that there is an expert that you can speak to for any questions or problems that may arise. This expert is there to teach you about the product, discuss the proper use, as well as provide you with tips and tricks you may not be aware of. Since the legalization of cannabis in October, you can now walk into a licensed dispensary (or order by mail) at any time and purchase cannabis. You may receive a quick, high-level product knowledge lesson but that’s where your relationship comes to an end. Once you leave, you cannot contact them if something were to go wrong or if you forget anything they may have discussed with you.
Licensed producers have dedicated teams who are there to help, whether you are a beginner or an experienced cannabis user. When you use a dispensary such as Starbuds, you find staff who are extremely knowledgeable beyond just the cannabis product itself. LPs answer questions without judgement, help you decide which strain is best for you, provide information on how to alleviate certain symptoms, and provide the security blanket of speaking with someone knowledgeable.
In 2015, the Canada Revenue Agency allowed medical marijuana license holders to claim any medical cannabis expenses on their taxes. This means that as long as you have obtained a license and have made purchases from a Canada-approved LP, then you can claim them on your taxes. Claiming your medical marijuana expenses on your tax return is relatively simple. You need all your receipts — which you can print from your online patient portal from your LP — and add them to any other medical expense you claim.
A lot is happening in the world of cannabis for both medical and recreational use and we’ll continue to see changes as Canada becomes accustomed to legalization. With so many options — whether that be from a local dispensary such as Starbuds or purchasing marijuana from a Canada-approved LP — it is now more important than ever to be aware of benefits as well as the details of the products you’re buying. Always know what you’re getting.