Coverage of cannabis used for medical purposes is an eligible expense for beneficiaries of Veterans Affairs Canada health care plan and is detailed in it's Reimbursement Policy for Cannabis for Medical Purposes
Coverage Conditions from the Reimbursement Policy for Cannabis for Medical Purposes
• Veterans Affairs Canada may reimburse an eligible Veteran for the purchase of cannabis for medical purposes, when the health care practitioner’s (defined in Health Canada’s Cannabis Regulations as a medical practitioner or a nurse practitioner) authorization is in accordance with Health Canada’s Cannabis Regulations. The medical document completed by the health care practitioner indicates the amount of grams per day of dried cannabis.
• The maximum daily Veterans Affairs Canada reimbursement limit is 3 grams per day of dried cannabis or the equivalent in fresh cannabis or cannabis oil.
• Requests for reimbursement for more than 3 grams of dried cannabis (or the equivalent in fresh cannabis or cannabis oil) will require additional supporting information for consideration as set out in Annex A.
• Veterans Affairs Canada will reimburse the Veteran based on a maximum rate per gram of cannabis, when authorized in its dried form or the equivalent in fresh cannabis or cannabis oil.
• Veterans Affairs Canada only reimburses the purchase of cannabis for medical purposes when the product is purchased from a federal licensed seller (with the exception of seeds and plants). Canada has established a regulated system of federal licensed sellers that ensures sellers are meeting standards for quality and safety. This standardization is an essential consideration when determining whether to reimburse Veterans for cannabis for medical purposes. The health and well-being of Veterans is best ensured through accessing cannabis produced by the federal licensed sellers authorized in accordance with Health Canada’s Cannabis Regulations.
• Veterans Affairs Canada, requires the following documents to confirm the Veteran meets the requirements of Health Canada’s Cannabis Regulations for the purposes of determining entitlement for reimbursement:
o copy of the medical document completed by the health care practitioner; and
o copy of the completed and confirmed registration document issued by a federal licensed seller.
• Veterans Affairs Canada will only accept authorization from one health care practitioner at a time. More than one authorization may be considered, but the authorizations must be from the same health care practitioner.
• Eligible forms of cannabis include all forms that are authorized by Schedule 4 of Health Canada’s Cannabis Act for sale by federal licensed sellers (with the exception of seeds and plants).
• Veterans Affairs Canada does not reimburse the purchase of cannabis for medical purposes when the Veteran purchases cannabis outside Canada. The legislative regime established by Health Canada for access to cannabis for medical purposes includes regulatory requirements for the safe production and distribution of cannabis, and for legal possession. Recognizing the complexity and variety of approaches internationally, the Department is not able to adequately ensure the same level of regulatory oversight for the safe production, authorization, distribution, and legalization of cannabis for medical purposes. The health and well-being of Canada’s Veterans is paramount, and the varied approaches to cannabis for medical purposes is of concern.
• No fee is paid to the health care practitioner for the completion of the medical document since VAC considers it to be covered in insured service fees. However, if the Department requires the health practitioner to complete additional documentation, an administrative fee may be paid.
• Veterans Affairs Canada may deny approval of reimbursement when federal licensed sellers are determined to be operating outside of the requirements of Health Canada’s Cannabis Act or Cannabis Regulations, the requirements of this policy, and/or any approved provider criteria established by the Department and agreed to by the federal licensed seller.
• Reimbursement for the purchase of a vaporizer may be authorized for eligible Veterans up to the established frequency and dollar limit. The purchase must be pre-authorized, and prescribed by a health care practitioner. Veterans Affairs Canada may consider other “equipment” when the device is medically beneficial, subject to the provisions of the Medical Supplies policy.