Getting a Prescription for Government Weed During COVID-19 Was a Breeze

What better time to try prescription cannabis than during a global quarantine?

Cannalogue is a program that provides access to prescription cannabis delivered to your doorstep. (Kristen Frier)

I can genuinely say I don’t know how I’d be surviving quarantine if I didn’t have cannabis.Being confined to the house for the indefinite future, and without a regular to-do list to devote myself to, I could very easily descend into madness at any time.

Having a daily puff of the devil’s lettuce has insofar reduced my anxiety enough to keep my life somewhat on track, my head somewhat screwed on, and my health somewhat in check. Great news for me, better news for my coworkers, best news for my roommate.

It’s also important to note that I’m anemic, immunocompromised, and either sick or getting sick on most days. I also have a chronic neuromuscular condition called myotonia congenita which gives me regular migraines, breathing issues, and constant fatigue. Top it all off with biologically inherited depression and anxiety, and you get me. My body barely works and my mind is a prison!

Weed helps, but I didn’t really discover that until after high school, when I moved out and started visiting local dispensaries. Now COVID-19 is happening and everything’s shut down. My frail, disease-catching self can’t risk going out there into the dirty world anyway, so I either have to order through illegal distributors online or go through the government.

Recently, for the first time in my life, I decided to try out the latter.

Cannalogue is an online distributor that uses an external medical care provider to get federally-regulated cannabis prescription products to consumers across the country.

The website claims that getting started is easy: Sign up, verify your email, and get a prescription. I did the first two things and received an email confirmation which told me to call and book an appointment. I did, they didn’t answer, and I left a message.

They called me back after two days to tell me their health providers at Oridon would be in touch, and they were the following day, when they walked me through the process of filling out a medical form to determine my eligibility for a prescription.

The Oridon representative on the phone asked me about my medical history, which medications I take regularly, how often I use alcohol, tobacco, and cannabis, and whether I use them recreationally or medically.

At the end of the conversation, I qualified for a six-month supply, and received another call from Cannalogue the next day to let me know I could start shopping for medical cannabis anytime.

They also sent me a treatment plan, which recommended I consume three grams of cannabis through oils and capsules per day. They even suggested the ratio of THC to CBD I should use — 1:10, a surprising suggestion as I’ve only ever used THC medicinally in the past — with 10 milligrams taken orally daily “as needed.” For my migraines, they advised a steady increase in the dosage as well as THC content.

For five grams, I paid $17.50, with $5.00 for shipping and handling. I couldn’t afford to follow the treatment plan (three grams a day? That’s damn expensive). When I checked out on the evening of April 10, my total came to $25.21 with tax. And I bought the flower rather than the oils or capsules because those orders would’ve cost around $100 — money I don’t have right now, as Canada gears up for a possible recession.

On that note, my first thought after checkout was, “How can I pay less money?” so I checked out the Cannalogue web page on getting reimbursed through private insurance. It told me to ask my provider if they’d cover it. If they say yes, I can use my proof of purchase from Cannalogue to submit a claim for reimbursement.

They also offer the Cannalogue Compassionate Care Program, which allows vulnerable people to apply for a discount on their products of choice. If they’re eligible, they can get up to 50 per cent off dried flower and 20 per cent off capsules and oils. Individuals who have been recently lost employment or had their income reduced by at least 30 per cent due to COVID-19 are eligible, as are people with an annual income below $70,000 (me, please), Indigenous people, seniors, veterans, first responders, nurses, teachers, people enrolled in disability programs, and people receiving federal or provincial assistance.

We might be in this quarantine for the long haul, so watch out for yourself, watch out for your wallet, and watch out for each other. Oh, and watch out for sweet deals on Cannalogue for me, okay?