Medical Cannabis InsuranceMedical cannabis insurance coverage. Canada’s Sun Life Financial is giving patients a break by adding medical cannabis coverage to its group benefits plan. Starting March 1 employers can opt in to cover employees for medical cannabis. For those whose employers use Sun Life, their cannabis could soon be part of their insurance plan. This means no more buying it themselves. This reflects acceptance of a plant that was once plagued with the stigma of being a dangerous drug. With recreational due to become legal this summer, it reflects a shift in thinking by insurers. This is great news for patients who rely on cannabis as part of their treatment. It also boosts a growing cannabis industry.
Growth in medical cannabis patientsAccording to Canadian government data, there were 235,621 people enrolled in its medical marijuana program in September 2017. And, a total 109,603 shipments to patients across the country. This more than doubles the amount of people registered for access to medical cannabis a year ago. The data is interesting when you look at how many patients are signing for access to medical cannabis to help them with medical issues. Here is a breakdown across the country from April to September, 2017:
- Alberta from 60,479 to 91,150
- British Columbia from 7,454 to 9,061
- Manitoba from 2,987 to 4,663
- New Brunswick from 5,284 to 6,094
- Newfoundland and Labrador from 1,853 to 2,521
- Northwest Territories from 112 to 144
- Nova Scotia from 7,685 to 10,296
- Nunavut from 47 to 61
- Ontario from 77,692 to 96,390
- Prince Edward Island from 739 to 1006
- Quebec from 5,149 to 6,369
- Saskatchewan from 4,937 to 7,749
- Yukon from 85 to 117.
Sun Life leads the way on cannabis insuranceSun Life chief executive and president said the company’s move for medical cannabis insurance was to meet the demand from their employer clients. This new insurance option does not cover a full range of medical conditions, but it is a good start for the future. He said medical marijuana was an important part of a patient’s treatment plan and pain management. Sun Life covers cancer, HIV/AIDS, rheumatoid arthritis, palliative care, and multiple sclerosis.
Medical Cannabis Insurance CoverageThis move gives more than three million Canadian’s insured with Sun Life’s access to medical marijuana. To qualify patients for Sun Life insurance cover, they must meet certain criteria. Patients need an authorization letter from their doctor to be eligible. They must also register with a Health Canada licenced medical marijuana producer.
Years of advocacy push insurers to accept medical cannabisCanadians for Fair Access to Medical Cannabis patient advocacy group executive director Johnathan Zaid, said this announcement comes after years of working to have medical cannabis accepted. This move by Sun Life demonstrates a greater acceptance of medical marijuana. It makes it simpler for patients to access the medical weed they need it for their health. So far, some sponsors who have taken up the extended medical cannabis option for their staff. It is unknown how many employers will take up the option, but there are different levels of coverage and eligibility criteria. Those who have include:
- the Labourer’s International Union of North America
- Ontario Public Service Employees Union
- University of Waterloo Student Union
- Ontario Public Service Employees Union
- Loblaw Companies Limited.
Shoppers Drug Mart signs deal to supply cannabisCanada’s Shoppers Drug Mart recently signed a deal with Aurora Cannabis to supply cannabis online. This agreement is subject to approval from Health Canada for selling weed online. Currently the law still prohibits pharmacies from dispensing it from physical locations. Its parent company, Loblaw Companies, applied to sell cannabis over the counter through its pharmacy chain in October 2016. Other companies signing agreements include CanniMed. Lovell Drugs, Maricann and PharmaChoice. So, the wheels are in motion for retail outlets to go ahead once the law changes.
Landmark Human Rights case to allow medical cannabisA landmark Human Rights case is waiting for an outcome in the Nova Scotia Court of Appeal. A Nova Scotia man injured in a motor vehicle accident in 2010 took his union to the Human Rights Tribunal in 2017. His union denied him insurance cover after being prescribed medical cannabis for pain so he too them to court. The tribunal ruled the Elevator Industry Welfare Trust Fund board discriminated against him. They ruled the employer must cover medical cannabis for the work accident. The union took the case to the Nova Scotia Court of Appeal and it is still waiting for an outcome.
Medical Cannabis Insurance PolicySun Life announcing it new medical marijuana policy gives hope for injured employees so they get the treatment they need.
Mr. BC Seeds
Mr. BC Seeds is an over educated old school hippy who has been involved in the cannabis industry since the 1970's. He is one of the most experienced marijuana breeders in Canada if not the entire world. He was the first to use the most advanced breeding techniques in 2008 to create 42 of the world's strongest cannabis strains. He has been writing in-depth articles about cannabis in Canada for decades and looks forward to continue bringing you cutting edge cannabis strains for the decades to come. Mr. BC Seeds uses a "pen name" because he still travels the world collecting cannabis strains and continues researching cannabis in laboratories of non-legalized countries.