An internal audit by Veterans Affairs Canada suggests Ottawa has all but lost control as it shells out hundreds of millions of dollars for veterans’ medical marijuana each year without proper oversight, direction or evidence of health benefits.
Quietly published this week, the audit’s results come amid an explosion in the number of veterans seeking reimbursement for their medical pot, from around 100 in 2014 to more than 18,000 last year — with no end to the surge in sight.
The result: Veterans Affairs spent more than $150 million on medical marijuana last year — more than on all other prescription drugs combined. And that number is expected to grow to $200 million this year and $300 million by 2025-26.
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Ottawa has lost control of veterans’ medical marijuana program, audit finds
Audit of Health Care Benefits – Cannabis For Medical Purposes
This publication is available upon request in alternate formats.
Table of contents
- Executive Summary
- 1.0 Background
- 2.0 About the audit
- 3.0 Audit results
- 3.1 Non-exceptional stream (3 grams and under per day)
- 3.2 Exceptional authorizations above the CMP limit (over 3 grams per day)
- 3.3 Collection of data and trends to inform policy
- 3.4 Monitoring usage trends
- 3.5 Monitoring Authorizers
- 3.6 Daily authorized limits
- 3.7 Monitoring spending
- 3.8 Maximizing Value of Public Funds
- 3.9 Reimbursement rate per gram
- 3.10 Audit Opinion
- Appendix A – Audit criteria
- Appendix B – Methodology