Patients who live in regions with legalized medical cannabis can’t just walk into a convenience store and find their medication the way they can with Tylenol or Advil. It’s crucial for people who need medication to get it from the right source, and that means from healthcare practitioners or cannabis-trained pharmacists because only they can assess the patient’s medical needs against their knowledge of cannabis cultivars and products.

Here are some of the most crucial reasons why medical cannabis can’t just be obtained from anywhere.

Medical Expertise Only

People must feel comfortable with the medication plan they’re on, but medical cannabis patients in particular need guidance from people with medical and cannabis expertise. Employees at retail stores that sell cannabis don’t receive medical training and have no accreditation.

In Canada, regulations in the Cannabis Act prohibit them from discussing cannabis as a medicine. Licensed producers such as Medical Cannabis by Shoppers have the professional expertise to direct patients to the most suitable products and cultivars.

Simply register with a licensed producer, then submit to them a completed medical document signed by a healthcare professional. To see if medical cannabis is right for you, access a medical document by speaking to a healthcare professional in person or if it’s easier online.

Some pharmacies have online Cannabis Care Teams, pharmacists and advisors who work on staff to advise on what you’re taking and recommend dosage levels. Budtenders, or people who work in cannabis dispensaries, can’t legally give patients medical advice.

Tax Benefits and Insurance

Buying medical cannabis from a licensed online producer means you may claim it on your income tax. If you have group health benefits covering various treatment forms, including cannabis.


You may belong to an eligible group that gets discounts from licensed producers, such as seniors and veterans. Leading producers even bill the government department on your behalf, sparing you the hassle and potentially the expense.

If you have a health spending account, you can usually claim medical cannabis as an expense.

Detail of cannabis buds (scout master strain) on glass jar over wood background - medical marijuana dispensary concept

Selection Matters

The licensed producer you frequent should have a wide selection of products and cultivars on hand. What if you need a specific CBD product, but all they have is a range of Indica or Sativa blends?

Look for a licensed producer, such as this St. Louis, MO dispensary, with more than 39 brands of cannabis. That way, you can almost certainly get the oils, softgels, topicals, oral sprays, edibles, vape pens, cartridges, concentrates, and dried cannabis you need. You can rest easy knowing that licensed cannabis producers have to meet the most stringent quality controls, so they only stock excellent products.

Every patient has their own unique health issues, and no two people’s body reacts the same way to cannabis. Adding to the complexity are patients with multiple conditions or symptoms that need to be navigated independently.

Medical cannabis can help relieve or cure a wide range of symptoms, but you need to get it from the right people at the right source. Keep the above tips in mind, and hopefully, you’ll get the help you’re looking for.

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