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Championing Medicinal Cannabis through our Patient Support Program

In 2018, the Canadian federal government committed to assessing the existing framework for medicinal cannabis. In support of this evaluation, the Medical Cannabis Access Survey (MCAS) was initiated, aiming to allow patients using medicinal cannabis to voice their challenges and offer suggestions for enhancing the future of the medical cannabis framework. The report highlights the challenges and underlines the need to advocate for medicinal cannabis as a paid health benefit.

The findings from the Medical Cannabis Access Survey Summary Report, unveiled a startling discovery: only 6% of individuals received any form of coverage for medicinal cannabis expenses. This statistic underscores the significant financial strain experienced by patients in need of medicinal cannabis treatments. The report findings also concluded that almost 50% of individuals who had to stop taking their medicinal cannabis cited cost as the primary factor1. Accessibility to affordable healthcare is crucial as we advance in understanding the therapeutic potential and  it is imperative that we prioritize.

Furthermore, the fact that 50% of individuals acquire medicinal cannabis from recreational sources, which lack authorization to offer medical advice, is a matter of substantial concern. Medicinal cannabis, like any other medication, should be under the guidance of a medical professional. These experts are trained to assess a patient’s condition, recommend appropriate dosages, and monitor its effects. When individuals resort to recreational sources, they forego the opportunity to receive personalized medical advice, which could lead to improper use, inadequate relief, or even potential health risks2.

Starseed is the industry leader in medicinal cannabis and paid health benefits. Through collaborations with various unions and insurance partners, Starseed has advocated for the incorporation of paid health benefits related to medicinal cannabis for eligible beneficiaries. Central to this commitment is Starseed’s Patient Support Program, an initiative to enhance patient well-being. This comprehensive program includes evidence-based treatment approaches, patient education, prescription monitoring, and robust safeguards to ensure the safe and responsible utilization of cannabis.

As advocates for patient-centered healthcare, we must work towards breaking down these barriers and ensuring patients have access to treatments that can improve their quality of life. Providing coverage for medicinal cannabis would alleviate the financial burden for patients and empower them to explore this viable treatment option. If you’re interested in delving deeper into the insights of the “Medical Cannabis Access Survey Summary Report,” find the full report here.

For additional information on Starseed’s Patient Support Program or to learn more about medicinal cannabis as a paid health benefit,  please contact the Starseed team at

[1] Balneaves, L., Brown, A., Green, M., Prosk, E., Rapin, L., Monahan-Ellison, M., Mcmillan, E., Zaid, J., Dworkind, M., & Watling, C. (n.d.). Medical Cannabis Access and Experiences in Canada Medical Cannabis Access Survey Summary Report Developed collaboratively by. Retrieved August 15, 2023, from
[2] Costiniuk, C. T., MacCallum, C. A., Boivin, M., Rueda, S., Lacasse, G., Walsh, Z., Daeninck, P. J., Margolese, S., Mandarino, E., Jagpaul Kaur Deol, Sanchez, T., & Bell, A. D. (2023). Why a distinct medical stream is necessary to support patients using cannabis for medical purposes. 5(1), 25–25.

Previous Article
Cannabis as a Potential Tool to Manage Opioid Cravings
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