Flying with cannabis: What you need to know

Whether a patient yourself, or a family member has their prescription, the issue of travelling with prescribed cannabis is new to everyone at some point.

One of the first things in the process to understanding the laws is to know that these laws only apply domestically within Canada. A patient cannot travel outside of Canada with their medication regardless of what their destination is. Yes, cannabis is legal in many jurisdictions south of our border. No, you may not travel to these locations legally while carrying cannabis. This includes, for instance, a direct flight from Calgary to Denver.

So, what does that mean for you the patient taking a domestic flight with prescribed cannabis? Let’s break it down with the recently changed Transport Canada policies.

  • You do not need to advise anyone prior to your arrival or during security checks -CATSA/CBSA are no longer required to contact police upon notification or discovery of your medication.
  • Carry limits are the same as ACMPR regulations, 30 days supply or 150 grams, whichever is lesser. (I.e. – 90 grams for a 3 gram per day patient) – extracts such as capsules, oils and others are also subject to the carry limits, and should also be stored in original labeled containers.
  • These regulations apply for service flights offered by CAF as they operate under Transport Canada guidelines. (http://www.catsa.gc.ca/medication-and-medical-items)

Now that we, the patients, are all caught up on the recent changes, things are well and good right? Not necessarily.

As with any policy and large organization it takes time to promulgate new information through the ranks. It isn’t the norm, but encounters with airport staff who aren’t aware of changes or even that we are legally allowed to carry our prescription onto a domestic flight can still occur.

What we do when we encounter unknowing airport staff is up to each of us. However, acting like a militant protester, or making a scene probably won’t get you anywhere fast except secondary search bays.

To put it in perspective; if it was our checkpoint or cordon and we weren’t sure on course of action, we would call it in and ask for direction from higher if time permitted. They’re simply people trying to do a job as we are simply people trying to get home to loved ones without undue hassles.

We at Spartan Wellness have flown across this beautiful country with our prescription, before and after these rules, with many veterans and no one has ever been arrested or had anything confiscated as far as we have heard. Relax, provide your documentation, and wait for someone in the know to make the right decision.

As patients who have flown with our medical cannabis, Spartan Wellness strongly suggests always carrying your prescription in your carry-on bag, not your checked luggage. Checked baggage can be inspected by the canine inspection teams, and you can be pulled out of line to explain yourself thereby causing an unnecessary delay.

Education is key in these situations. Know the rules, your rights, and take the time to explain the topics covered here to airport staff and you may just save the next troop a hassle.

Happy travels,

The Spartan Team

Spartan Wellness Sponsors The Veterans Dinner as Clinic Partner

Spartan Wellness is proud to be the clinic sponsor for the 2nd annual Veterans Dinner hosted by Canadian Veteran, chef, and author of The Wellness Soldier’s Cannabis Cookbook, Cody Lindsay on Monday, Oct. 30th, 2017. The Veterans Dinner will be held at the Artisan Bistro in Victoria, BC and features a mouthwatering, nutritious 3-course meal prepared by renowned chef Daryl Pope whose aim is to show attendees that eating healthy can be delicious.

The Veterans Dinner is free for Veterans and their dates (spouse and/or battle buddy). The event was created to help further Veteran quality of life through a fun night out that provides an opportunity for Veterans who may be going through the same struggles to get together and share their experiences. During the evening there will also be a series of educational talks on the areas of Healthy Eating/Drinking, Medical Cannabis, Fitness, & Meditation.

On hand to represent Spartan Wellness at The Veterans Dinner is World Arm Wrestling Champion, Canadian Veteran and Spartan Wellness volunteer, Devon Larratt, as well as Veterans and Spartan Wellness volunteers, Matt Landry, Ian Bailey and David Wilson. Spartan Wellness CEO, Riad Byne, will give a speech at the dinner in which he will discuss the vision of Spartan Wellness as well as the many exciting directions in which the organization is growing.

The Spartan Wellness crew looks forward to meeting fellow Veterans and discussing the ways in which PTSD and other health issues that Canadian Veterans face can be treated through adherence to a healthy diet and lifestyle that includes cannabis therapy.

For more information on attending The Veterans Dinner or getting involved as a sponsor, click here

Spartan Wellness and The Invictus Games 2017

From Sept 23- 30, Toronto will play host to The Invictus Games in which 550 competitors from 17 nations will compete in a series of adaptive sports matches such as wheelchair basketball, wheelchair rugby, track & field and golf. Able bodied and disabled Veterans will compete side by side on the same teams, representing their nations in an event which celebrates and honours Veterans and their ability to overcome severe mental and physical health conditions.

Several Spartan Wellness employees and patients will be participating in this year’s Invictus Games. Among them are Spartan Wellness employee Jean-Claude Migneault in golf and indoor rowing, Spartan Wellness patient Tracy Cooney in cycling, wheel chair basketball and rowing, Spartan Wellness patient Wayne Jerrett in golf and swimming and Spartan Wellness patient, Steven Roach, who will caddy for Jerrett.

Spartan Wellness CEO and Co-Founder, Riad Byne played on Team Canada’s Golf team at last year’s Invictus Games in Orlando, Florida.  Here he is below pictured with Prince Harry of Wales in a team photo.

For more information on The Invictus Games including a complete event calendar and how to buy tickets, click here

If you are a Veteran of the Canadian Forces looking for help accessing medical cannabis and/or a wide variety of other VAC entitlements, please fill out the Registration Form on the website or email info@spartanwellness.ca. Alternately, you can call us at 1-877-219-1255.

Cannabis May Aid in Combating Alcohol Abuse

It’s no secret that among the veteran community, there is an extremely high rate of alcohol dependency. In the search for relief from symptoms associated with PTSD, too many veterans turn to alcohol as a way to numb or escape their pain.

But what many don’t know is that cannabis may help curb the addictive impulses that lead us to drink and even replace the effects of alcohol.

A 2009 study entitled “Cannabis as a Substitute for Alcohol and Other Drugs”, conducted by Dr. Amanda Reiman at the University of California in Berkely and published in “Harm Reduction Journal” followed 350 medical cannabis patients who were asked, “Are you choosing to use cannabis instead of something else?” to which 50 percent said they were using it as a replacement for alcohol.

Further research based on a survey of 404 medical cannabis patients in Canada was published in a 2013 edition of the Addiction Research and Theory Journal and found that 41% of participants were using cannabis as a substitute for alcohol while 75.5% were using cannabis as a substitute for at least one other substance.

Since cannabis is not considered physically addictive, a growing number of rehabilitation specialists are exploring cannabis as an effective tool in aiding with alcohol and drug abuse recovery.

Under Canada’s Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations (ACMPR) program, medical cannabis users can choose cannabis strains with the right blend of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the principal psychoactive cannabinoid in cannabis, and cannabidiol (CBD) the main non psycho active cannabinoid found in cannabis. Depending on the cannabinoid content of a given strain, patients can reduce the anxiety brought on by alcohol craving as well as replicate the effects that alcohol induces. These effects are also determined by terpenes, the essential oils naturally produced in cannabis that determines a strain’s medicinal properties, smell and flavour profile.

Several terpene families correspond to calming effects while other terpenes can provide a ‘happier’ experience (e.g., drinking to have a laugh) or a more sedative experience (e.g. drinking to get ready for sleep, to de-stress and contemplate). Many of these terpene families also correspond with creativity and inspiration.

For more information on how you can access medical cannabis strains may aid in alcohol cessation, email info@spartanwellness.ca or fill out the Registration Form found here

Spartan Wellness and Precision Compounds

Spartan Wellness is pleased to offer to its clients, Precision Compounds Pain Creams, a safe alternative to the oral ingestion of prescription opioids.

Pain creams administer high concentrations of pain medication directly to the site of pain for targeted relief. A Spartan Wellness specialist will act as a liaison between patients, pharmacists and physicians to create custom formulations designed to meet each patient’s unique needs.

Precision Compounds formulations offer the benefits of precise dosing, personalized treatment, and the combined effect of multiple ingredients working together for optimal pain relief.

All pain formulations are applied topically; they don’t circulate through the entire body. This is powerful pain medication where it is needed, less where it isn’t. Pain creams are less likely to interact with other medications and cause fewer side effects than other pain medications. The risk of dependence and addiction is virtually eliminated.

Precision Compounds Topical Pain Creams are formulated using an anhydrous silicone base designed and proven to effectively deliver pain medication. This type of transdermal base has been tested and proven to deliver up to four drugs simultaneously and to deliver medications more effectively and quickly than other topical bases.

If you are interested in accessing Precision Compounds Topical Pain Creams for your health condition, fill out the Interest Form found at www.spartanwellness.ca or email info@spartanwellness.ca 

Devon Larratt Joins Spartan Wellness

The Spartan Wellness team is proud to announce that Canadian professional arm wrestler, Devon “No Limits” Lariat has come aboard as a volunteer cannabis educator.

Devon is a Veteran of the Canadian Special Forces as well as one of the famous professional arm wrestlers in the world. He currently holds the title of Left and Right-Arm World Armwrestling League (WAL) Heavyweight Champion and Left Arm Arm Wars Super-Heavyweight Champion.

Devon’s primary role at Spartan will be outreach and cannabis education. He firmly believes in medical cannabis as an effective and natural means to relieve chronic pain and a wide variety of other health conditions including PTSD. His knowledge of medical cannabis strains and usage is extensive and he looks forward to sharing what he has learned with Spartan clients who are new to medical cannabis.

For more info on Devon Larratt and his involvement with Spartan Wellness as well as information on how we can help Veterans of the CAF access medical cannabis and a wide variety of other entitlements you may not be aware of, please contact us at info@spartanwellness.ca or call us at 1-855-978-9787