NORML Canada: May 2014 Newsletter
Greetings Cannabis Law Reform Community
In this month’s newsletter:
On May 9th Health Canada issued its second medical marijuana recall regarding product sold by The Peace Naturals Project. The recall specifies the strain “K-farms,” which was recalled due to positive bacterial testing outside of acceptable limits. This may come as a surprise as less than a month prior Health Canada issued a similar recall on a batch of medical marijuana produced by Greenleaf Medicinals. Fifty-five of The Peace Naturals Project’s patients were instructed to dispose of the product they had received.
According to Peace Naturals CEO, Mark Gobuty, “You have to safely produce cannabis within a safe working environment within a repeatable procedure and be able to have the wherewithal and credentials and policies and protocols to have everything tested validated and safe,” alluding to the strict health and safety requirements outlined by Health Canada. Health Canada also requires that licenced producers have quality assurance personnel on site. In addition to in-house quality assurance, many licenced producers, including Peace Naturals, chose to have their results analyzed and validated by third-party laboratories.
Mike Harcourt, BC Premier from 1991 to 1996, has become chairman of True Leaf Medicine Inc., a company hoping to become a licenced producer under the new medical marijuana rules. The company has applied to Health Canada for a licence and has also applied to be listed on the Canadian Securities Exchange. Harcourt will be paid in cash and options.
Canada is set to conduct its first-ever medical marijuana clinical trial. Prairie Plant Systems, one of twelve licenced producers, commissioned the clinical trial, and is the first licenced producer to launch research of this kind in Canada. The trial, as registered with Health Canada, will investigate the potential effects of marijuana on patients with osteoarthritis of the knee. The trial will study several varieties of medical marijuana, focusing on the effects of two active ingredients, THC and CBD.
The study will also examine the safety of vaporization as a method of ingestion and medication. The Arthritis Society has voiced its support of the trial.
Historically the Canadian medical establishment and Health Canada have been reluctant to accept marijuana as a legitimate form of medication despite both anecdotal evidence from patients, and research conducted in other countries, purporting its benefits. For many doctors, the lack of clinical trials investigating the side effects, and therapeutic benefits, of marijuana has been the main reason for refraining from writing prescriptions.
Hopefully, with the initiation of this trial, Canadian medical institutions will begin to reconsider the effectiveness of marijuana as a medicine, and at the very least it may spur interest and funding for further research.
A recent study in the peer reviewed journal, Addictive Behaviours, has found that consuming cannabis by way of butane honey oil or dabs is no more dangerous or likely to result in accidents than consuming cannabis through other consumption methods, like smoking joints. Participants in the study did report dabs leading to a higher tolerance and withdrawal (as defined by the participants).
Perhaps far behind the curve, but still important none-the-less, Minnesota will become the 22nd State to legalize medical marijuana. The bill passed in the Minnesota House of Representatives by a vote of 89-40 and similarly in the Senate by a vote of 46-16. It is now up to Governor Mark Dayton to sign it into law. The bill will balance the medical community’s desire for medical oversight and the safety and security concerns of the law enforcement community.
NORML Canada would like to thank CHAMPS Canada for helping NORML Canada hold a successful national conference at the CHAMPS Canada Convention in Toronto at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre during the weekend of May 23-25. The NORML Canada National Convention was a great success, and will hopefully foster much future discussion about cannabis legalization in Canada and around the world. From NORML Canada’s Vice President Alan Young’s stirring opening speech (see it here: http://youtu.be/8K_ioALXJF8) to NORML Canada’s President and Founder John Conroy’s closing speech (coming soon), the event was a smashing success.
Please stay tuned to NORML Canada’s social media and YouTube channel in order to see videos of the National Conference and the fascinating discussions prompted by our series of panel discussions on the legalization debate.
Finally, NORML Canada would like to thank the Hash Mob for their first class treatment of NORML Canada at the Toronto 420 and the Global Marijuana March in Toronto. Thank you!
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