FAQs: Appointments & Cost
This section outlines our most frequently asked questions about Harvest Medicine appointments and the cost of medical cannabis.
Why should I choose Harvest Medicine over another cannabis clinic?
If you are considering cannabis as part of your healthcare plan, it is important to understand the differences between accessing cannabis through the medical system vs. the recreational stream...and the tangible benefits of being a medical cannabis patient. With the experience of over 150,000 patient visits, Harvest Medicine is here to support you every step of the way on your medical cannabis journey. Our team of knowledgeable healthcare professionals and patient educators are dedicated to your health and well-being, with ongoing collaboration with the medical and scientific research community. Harvest Medicine offers ease of access to medical cannabis products with quick and convenient appointment online bookings, virtual visits via HMED connect, medical history & medication reviews, plus an individualized treatment plan. This plan takes into account your wellness goals, other medications, authorized usage, ongoing support & education, full assistance with selecting & registering with a licensed producer that meets your therapeutic needs while suiting your budget. We can even help you place your first order to get you started on the right foot! Our values and are summed up by C.A.R.E: Compassion, Access, Research and Education. It's this dedication to providing a positive experience that keeps patients returning time and time again to our clinics.
Where are you located?
Harvest Medicine currently has three locations where patients may have an in-clinic experience. These are located in Calgary Alberta; St. Albert, Alberta; and Dartmouth (Cole Harbour), Nova Scotia. Visit our contact page for additional details about each clinic. If you are unable to come and see us in person at one of our clinics, we also offer virtual consultations across Canada, with the exception of Quebec and Saskatchewan, via our HMED Connect app.
I live far away, do you offer telemedicine?
Yes. Telemedicine is an option for many patients throughout COVID-19, especially for patients who are at higher risk of infection, please call us to schedule a telemedicine appointment with you. Additionally, Harvest Medicine supports patients across Canada, with virtual consultations via our HMED Connect app. HMED connect is available to residents of British Columbia, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Northwest Territories, Nunavut, Prince Edward Island, & Yukon. It's efficient, free and easy to use! *These services are currently unavailable in Saskatchewan and Quebec.
How much does a visit to Harvest Medicine cost?
Harvest Medicine appointments at all clinic locations, telemedicine and HMED Connect are free of charge. As with any other medical appointment, you will be required to provide your Provincial Health Card number at your first appointment. This also includes patients who are interested in participating in the Cannabis Act self-grow program.
Do I need a referral from my doctor?
My doctor does not support my use of medical cannabis. Can I still access it without their consent?
Yes, you may self-refer & book an initial assessment with Harvest Medicine to see if medical cannabis is a viable treatment option. You will be required to complete a questionnaire outlining your medical history and current medication usage. You may opt-in or out to have your consult information shared with your family doctor. Many patients have found that this is helpful to share this information to complete continuity of care. Please note that authorization for medical cannabis use is at the discretion of the prescribing physician and in some cases, access to higher THC products may be limited due to contraindications.
Will you share my information with my physician, specialist or pharmacist?
For self-referrals, we will only share with your consent. We recommend that your healthcare professionals are informed about your medical cannabis therapy. We feel a collaborative approach is best for patient care to ensure the best continuity of care. If you are referred by a physician or specialist, Harvest Medicine is required to send a return consultation report back to the referring practitioner.
How much does medical cannabis cost?
The cost of medical cannabis varies between LPs and also depends on your individualized treatment plan and amounts prescribed. At Harvest, our patient educators can assist with finding options that best fit your budget and needs. Medical cannabis patients may submit costs for inclusion on their annual income taxes. Many LPs also offer compassionate care programs for low-income households, seniors, veterans and others, as well as individuals receiving disability benefits. Additionally, some private insurers are now offering coverage for medical cannabis patients. On the whole, price varies from LP to LP, however medical patients tend to pay less per gram for their cannabis products than in the recreational stream.
Is medical cannabis covered by insurance?
Medical cannabis has not yet been assigned a DIN (Drug Identification Number) and does not qualify for regular insurance coverage. However, some insurance companies are providing coverage via a Healthcare Spending account. Check with your insurance provider or plan administrator for details of your coverage. You may also view our most current compilation of private insurance coverage for medical cannabis in Canada.
How do I book an appointment?
How soon can I get an appointment?
At Harvest Medicine, we want to ensure that patients find relief as quickly as possible. We aim to keep wait times minimal, generally less than a week for select locations. You may also call us to add your name on our waitlist in the event of a cancellation for an earlier appointment time.
How long will my first appointment be?
For your first appointment, you should budget up to 90 -120minutes. This includes time to see the doctor, learn more about cannabis via our educational exhibits, and discuss your licensed producer selection & requirements with a patient educator. Please note: As we are a medical clinic, sometimes patients require a little more care and wait times can increase. We do our best to be on time, but we do occasionally run a little late as a result of our customer service. We thank you for your patience and understanding.
How long will my follow-up appointment be?
The length of your follow-up appointment is usually 15 minutes, but this time is dependent on a few factors. If you require more cannabis education information, or a reassessment of dosing amounts, or change your licensed producer or to discuss additional product options you should plan for a slightly longer appointment. If you don't have a next scheduled follow-up appointment you may book one online or give us a call.
How often will I have an appointment?
At Harvest Medicine, we feel that patients who are supported are often more successful in their medical cannabis journey, and this includes regular follow-ups. Medical cannabis is no different than other medications, it requires ongoing monitoring and follow-up to optimize your dosing and assess effectiveness. We also recommend patients book their renewal appointments at least two weeks before their medical document is due to expire to ensure adequate time for documents to be processed by their licensed producer and continued access to medication. For patients residing in Alberta, the College of Physician & Surgeons of Alberta (CPSA) continues to mandate follow-ups every 3 months. If you have questions about when your renewal is due, please call us and we will be able to assist you.
How long does the renewal process take?
Renewing your authorization is easy and is generally much faster than a first visit. Your follow-up appointment is approximately 15 minutes, whereby a new authorization will be written by one of our healthcare professionals and a patient educator will ensure that your medical document is sent to your chosen licensed producer (LP) immediately. Certain LPs require a new registration form to be completed; your patient educator can assist this re-registration process. Although many LPs are responsive the same day, it may take up to 3-5 business days for them to confirm the new document and approve your account to order products. If not already completed, you may book online or call us to schedule your renewal.
What is a "medical document"?
A medical document is an authorization to purchase and consume medical cannabis, similar to a prescription that allows you to access medication from a pharmacist. However, a medical document differs because grants access to a variety of medical cannabis products that are within the practitioner guided restrictions. It will contain your practitioner's information, starting dose, and possible THC % restrictions. This medical document is required to be registered with a licensed producer (LP). Upon selecting your LP, your Harvest Medicine patient educator will fax this on your behalf. to keep your medical document active, you must continue to do your regular follow-up appointments; Those who do not may have their medical document cancelled, at the discretion of the authorizing healthcare professional.
Can my medical documents be emailed for renewal?
No. It’s important to see your doctor for follow-up, just as you would with any medication. Our patient educators and staff will ensure that your renewed medical document is faxed to your LP on your behalf.
What is a "licensed producer"?
A "licensed producer" or "LP" is a company that has been granted a license by Health Canada to grow, sell and distribute cannabis to authorized medical cannabis patients. Visit Health Canada's approved licensed producers for additional information.
After registration is complete with a licensed producer, can my original medical document be returned to me?
Health Canada regulations state that your licensed producer must keep the original medical document. However, you may request a watermarked copy of your medical document from Harvest Medicine.
How do I obtain cannabis?
There is no cannabis on site or for sale in our clinics. Patients order by phone or online directly from their LP, once registration is confirmed. We recommend making your first order by phone, as your LP can answer specific questions about their policies and products, and ensure you’re ordering the right product.