Get Medical Marijuana Coverage through a Health Spending Account

By: Updated: October 12, 2018

The Solution to High Cannabis Costs

Updated: Oct 12, 2018 - See Latest News section

Cannabis is a legal treatment for patients in Canada. With a doctor’s authorization, patients can complete an application and be authorized to Possess Marijuana for Medicinal Purposes.

However, the provincial drug plan does not cover the costs of prescribed marijuana.

There is a solution. Under CRA guidelines, medical marijuana qualifies as a medical expense. With a Health Spending Account, you can save 30% or more on the cost of medical marijuana. As a result, patients can use a Health Spending Account to cover costs.

What is a Health Spending Account (HSA)?

An HSA is a tax plan which allows a small business owner to turn their after-tax medical expense into a before-tax business deduction. In this way, you legally write-off the tax for any medical marijuana purchase. Specifically, the amount paid to Health Canada or a designated producer for medical marijuana, cannabis, synthetic THC or marijuana seeds is considered an eligible expense. With approval from a health care professional, it is guaranteed eligible.

At the core, the HSA is a contract between your corporation and yourself. The contract is based on CRA guidelines that allow your corporation to reimburse you for out-of pocket medical expenses. The reimbursements are 100% tax free to you and 100% tax deductible for your company. Basically, you get to withdraw money from your company without having to pay income tax.

Does Traditional Health Insurance Cover Medical Marijuana?

Many traditional insurance companies are unable or unwilling to add medical marijuana as a covered drug because cannabis doesn’t have a drug identification number (DIN) yet. Additionally, constant new policies and debate surrounding the topic have played a role in stopping progress.

Medical Marijuana as an Employee Health Benefit

If you are an employer looking to provide medical marijuana as an employee health benefit, consider a Health Spending Account. Under this plan, medical marijuana is covered as an item in the list of eligible expenses.

This type of plan works specifically for small business. As a result, it creates an advantage in recruitment against large corporations using traditional insurance plans (which do not cover medical marijuana). As society shifts towards greater acceptance of medical marijuana, this offered benefit will become more enticing for future candidates and also help in retaining top talent.

The Latest News

As of Oct 17, 2018: marijuana will be legalized for recreational use among adults in Canada. The federal government has set minimum legal age at 18. Provinces are allowed to raise this number.  For example, Ontario has set their legal age at 19.

There will be a 30 gram limit on how much a person can buy at once or have on possession in public.

Canadians can also grow up to 4 plants at home, except for those living in Quebec and Manitoba. 

The federal government taxes $1 for every gram or 10 cents on the purchase (whichever is more). A quarter of the tax goes directly to the federal government and the rest to the provinces. 

Canadian authorities will be testing for impaired driving through traditional observation techniques, but may adopt additional countermeasures if approved. It is legal to bring pot in a domestic flight, but not on international flights (ex. to the U.S.). 

The Bottom Line

You can get medical marijuana coverage by using a Health Spending Account. It's affordable, easy to use, and 100% digital. 

To learn more about a Health Spending Account, claims and eligible expenses, read our free guide:

Beginner's Guide to Health Spending Accounts


If you are an employer looking to offer creative and affordable health benefits to employees, download our FREE Beginner’s Guide for a business with employees:

Download Beginner's HSA Guide for a small business with employees

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