Medical Marijuana In Canada: The Doctor’s Dilemma
Medical marijuana is a growing business in Canada. The number of Canadians approved to use medical marijuana grew from 500 in 2001 to 30,000 in 2013. This number is expected to continue to climb, and Health Canada has pegged medical marijuana to be a $1.4 billion industry by 2024.
Not surprisingly, these forecasts have led to growth in the number of companies looking to supply the burgeoning market. There are now 23 licensed players spanning the country. Some, like Tweed and Aphria, are publicly traded. So too is PharmaCan Capital, a fund that invests exclusively in emerging medical marijuana businesses.
While the growth curve for this nascent industry looks impressive, it’s not without its challenges. Chief among them is that the use of medical marijuana requires getting a physician to sign off. And based on a recent Environics survey of Canadian GPs, approval won’t be easy to come by until physicians are better engaged and educated by the medical marijuana industry as a whole.
To start, almost 70% of GPs surveyed indicated they were “uncomfortable prescribing medical marijuana,”
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