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Toronto's First Pot Clinic Opens On Danforth Ave

The General

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Toronto's first medical marijuana clinic opened Monday along a bustling stretch of Danforth Ave., attracting a handful of patients eager to get prescriptions for cannabis. The storefront clinic, which drew the attention of bemused passersby, is the first of several pot-friendly clinics expected to open in the city. At the helm of Medical Marijuana Clinics of Canada is family physician Dr. Ryan Yermus, who was motivated to open the facility after seeing patients – and a family friend with multiple sclerosis – struggle to access cannabis.

"With the new regulations in place, I thought the opportunity was there to create a place that could service these patients and work with them to help them gain access in a way that is non-judgmental," says Yermus. "And, to work with them to relieve the symptoms they're suffering from and help them improve their quality of life." Under new rules introduced in April, medical marijuana patients are no longer licensed by the government, but must now get prescriptions for cannabis from a doctor or nurse practitioner. Patients must then buy their weed from a licensed commercial grower.

The reluctance of many doctors to prescribe pot has created a business opportunity for those willing to meet patient demand for medical marijuana. At Yermus's clinic, patients don't need a referral but must provide documentation of the medical condition for which they want pot. He says qualifying conditions include HIV/AIDS, chronic pain, multiple sclerosis, seizure disorders, fibromyalgia, anxiety and depression. And, if pot is prescribed, patients must pay a $200 annual fee for a safety monitoring system. That basically means the clinic will follow up with patients to ensure there are no side effects, and patients will be able to contact doctors if they have any concerns or questions arise. (The actual medical visits to doctors are covered by OHIP.)

On July 14, family physician Dr. Danial Schecter will open Cannabinoid Medical Clinic, a referral-only clinic at the corner of Yonge St. and Eglinton Ave. E. For a fee, Schecter's clinic will also offer ancillary services, such as advanced cannabinoid education and assistance in filling out forms for the licensed producer. Such services are optional and can be purchased individually or as a bundle for $200. Neither the Danforth Ave. clinic, located near Broadview Ave., nor the uptown facility, will have any marijuana on the premises. Medicinal Cannabis Resource Centre Inc., which is based in Vancouver, is currently scouting locations for two walk-in clinics in Toronto.


News Moderator - The General @ 420 MAGAZINE ®
Source: Thestar.com
Author: Isabel Teotonio
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Website: Toronto's first pot clinic opens on Danforth Ave. | Toronto Star
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