Patient groups call for equitable access to medical cannabis

Recommendations provide guidance around affordability, research and other issues to ensure fair access to medical cannabis

OTTAWA, May 9, 2016 /CNW Telbec/ - Canadians for Fair Access to Medical Marijuana (CFAMM), a federal non-profit, medical cannabis patient rights organization, today issued a set of recommendations to guide federal decision-makers on the needs of medical cannabis patients.

CFAMM is joined by The Arthritis Society in urging federal policymakers to take action in five key areas: (1) eliminate sales tax; (2) facilitate insurance coverage; (3) allow access to all forms of cannabis; (4) expand regulated distribution options; and (5) promote research. The Canadian AIDS Society has also expressed their full support of these recommendations.

Policymakers, including MPs and Senators, have been invited to a reception on the Hill to discuss the recommendations, meet patients directly affected by medical cannabis policy, and talk with key experts in the field.

In support of the recommendations, MP Nathaniel Erskine-Smith said, "Given that medical cannabis is regulated by Health Canada and used by thousands of Canadians under the supervision of a physician, it is long past time that the inequities many of these patients face be addressed." 

"As we move forward into a legal regulatory system for recreational cannabis, it is essential we focus on addressing the currently unmet needs of Canadian patients using cannabis. These recommendations address key issues patients are facing around affordability, access, and the need for research " said Jonathan Zaid, Founder and Executive Director of CFAMM.

The Arthritis Society recently published a report from the Medical Cannabis Research Roundtable calling for federal funding of medical cannabis research. "Medical cannabis needs to be treated like any other medication approved by Health Canada," said the Society's Chief Mission Officer, Joanne Simons, "from eliminating sales tax to ensuring that patients and physicians have the information they need to make appropriate treatment choices."

About Canadians for Fair Access to Medical Marijuana
Founded in 2014, Canadians for Fair Access to Medical Marijuana (CFAMM) is a federal non-profit, patient-run organization dedicated to protecting and improving the rights of medical cannabis patients. CFAMM's goal is to enable patients to obtain fair and safe access to medical cannabis with a special focus on affordability, including private and public insurance coverage. For more information, visit

About The Arthritis Society
The Arthritis Society has been setting lives in motion for over 65 years. Dedicated to a vision of living well while creating a future without arthritis, The Society is Canada's principal health charity providing education, programs and support to the over 4.6 million Canadians living with arthritis. Since its founding in 1948, The Society has been the largest non-government funder of arthritis research in Canada, investing over $190 million in projects that have led to breakthroughs in the diagnosis, treatment and care of people with arthritis. The Arthritis Society is accredited under Imagine Canada's Standards Program. For more information and to make a donation, visit


SOURCE Canadians for Fair Access to Medical Marijuana (CFAMM)

For further information: Jonathan Zaid, Founder and Executive Director, Canadians for Fair Access to Medical Marijuana, Phone: 226-444-8139, Email:; or Douglas Emerson, National manager, communications, The Arthritis Society, W: 416.979.7228 x3348, C: 647.706.0440,

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