Compassion Clubs are organizations, often non-profits, that provide dried marijuana and other marijuana products (edible goods, oils, tinctures, etc.) to organization members outside of the Health Canada medical marijuana program. It’s important to be aware that Compassion Clubs are not legal in Canada.
Usually membership is attained by having your doctor sign a form or write a letter to confirm your diagnosis. Some Compassion Clubs maintain high standards of quality in their products, but there is concern that without proper oversight and regulation, the quality of medicine can’t be assured.
Here is an excerpt from Health Canada’s Statement on Medical Marihuana Compassion Clubs:
Under the MMAR, Health Canada does not licence organizations such as “compassion clubs” or “cannabis dispensaries” to possess, produce, or distribute marihuana for medical purposes. Under the MMAR, only individuals can be authorized by Health Canada to possess and/or be licensed to produce marihuana for medical purposes. As well, Health Canada is the only organization that can legally supply marihuana seeds and dried marihuana for medical purposes to such individuals.
It has been reported that patients could purchase marihuana for medical purposes from compassion clubs provided they have documentation from Health Canada or a registered physician. This could mislead patients to believe that they are authorized to possess marihuana if they have a letter, or other documentation, from a physician, which is not accurate.
It is also incorrect that organizations such as compassion clubs or cannabis dispensaries are legally able to sell or provide marijuana to those who have authorization from Health Canada to possess marihuana for medical purposes.
The only way that individuals can be legally authorized to possess marihuana for medical purposes is to apply to Health Canada under the MMAR.