Medical marijuana patients in Canada have a new worry to add to their list: rising insurance costs (for no legitimate reason). Just because medicinal marijuana is often consumed via smoking, all medical marijuana patients in Canada are now required to claim that they are smokers in their insurance applications, regardless of their preferred method of ingestion.
“To be honest, it really doesn’t make sense,” Syed Raza, director of marketing with Toronto-based LSM Insurance, told CBC News. We couldn’t agree more.
The Supreme Court of Canada recently decided that edibles, smokeless vaporizers, tinctures and other formats of consuming the medicine are officially legal for all medical marijuana patients in the country.
That means that alternatives to smoking are not only allowed in Canada, they’re certain to increase in popularity. Patients are discovering new methods of using their medicine in unprecedented numbers throughout recent years.
Many report that smoking marijuana is not nearly as effective as many of the other formats it is available in. Some of these patients go beyond mere preference – they never actually smoke cannabis.
That doesn’t matter to insurance companies.
“When they complete an application, they’re expected to mark down that they are smokers. And as a result, pay a higher premium for their life insurance,” said Raza. This comes despite the fact that cannabis edibles, vaporizers, tinctures and the like do not carry the same potential health hazards that smoking marijuana does.
This is certainly a speed bump in the road to proper acceptance of cannabis in Canada. It’s unlikely that the rules will remain this way, but until action is taken by the appropriate authorities and members of the voting public, we can expect insurance companies to line their pockets while they can.