February 2012 CAMCD Update

February 2012 CAMCD Update
February 29, 2012 Dieter MacPherson

1) Health Canada Meets with Organizations Interested in Becoming LCPs
2) Medical Cannabis: Standards, Engagement, Evaluation and Dissemination (SEED)” project

1) Health Canada Meets with Organizations Interested in Becoming LCPs

In February, Health Canada hosted meetings in Victoria and Ottawa for organizations and individuals who had previously expressed interest in applying for Licensed Commercial Producer (LCP) status. The meetings focused on specific technical details of the manufacturing and packaging of medical cannabis, with the aim to inform Health Canada representatives and aid them in developing reforms to the Marihuana Medical Access Program (MMAP). Both meetings were well attended by a diverse range of organizations. CAMCD applauds Health Canada for inviting the expertise that already exists within the medical cannabis sector and considering this input when drafting reforms to the MMAP.

CAMCD’s directors have been able to effectively provide input through these meetings regarding regulations around LCPs that would allow dispensaries to be included.

There is an opportunity for patients under the proposed reformed MMAP to form not-for-profits or co-operatives and apply for LCP status. The proposal does not preclude patients from forming collectives and producing their medicine in a common setting. Patients concerned about the removal of the Personal Production Licenses (PPLs) can consider this option as a stop gap measure to address affordability and other access issues.

2) Medical Cannabis: Standards, Engagement, Evaluation and Dissemination (SEED)” project

The Canadian Association of Medical Cannabis Dispensaries, Canadians for Safe Access, and researchers from University of British Columbia are extremely pleased to announce the launch of the “Medical Cannabis: Standards, Engagement, Evaluation and Dissemination (SEED)” project, funded by a 3 year grant from the Peter Wall Solutions Initiative.[1] The Peter Wall Solutions Initiative focuses on practical and innovative solutions to societal problems.

“Certification of dispensaries based on collaboratively developed standards will help ensure product safety, improve patient education and support strategies that promote the safe and effective use of medical cannabis” said Rielle Capler (Co-PI), currently a doctoral student at UBC and co-founder of CAMCD. “The self-regulation of dispensaries is a necessary step to integrate this patient-centered health delivery model into the national regulatory framework.”

“Surveys suggest that dispensaries are an integral part of safe access to medical cannabis for critically and chronically ill Canadians” said Philippe Lucas, (Co-PI), a research affiliate with the Centre for Addictions Research of B.C, and co-director of Canadians for Safe Access, a national medical cannabis patient advocacy organization, “a well-developed certification program will increase transparency and accountability to this rapidly growing patient group”.

“The grant from the Peter Wall Solutions Initiative will increase the capacity of CAMCD to develop a self-regulatory program for dispensaries”, states Zach Walsh, the principal investigator (PI) on the study, a researcher at the Okanagan campus of UBC, and co-director of the Centre for the Advancement of Psychological Science and Law. “The ultimate goal is to improve the health and well-being of people living in Canada by enhancing safe access to medical cannabis.”

The project team will be working with community partners to organize a series of consultations to develop these standards and to assess their impact on the day-to-day operations of dispensaries, the patient population they serve, and the community-at-large.



[1] The Peter Wall Solutions Initiative (PWSI) enables UBC faculty to team with community organizations in order to address issues of societal importance through innovative, interdisciplinary and academically rigorous research projects. The PWSI is supported by the Peter Wall Endowment to UBC. http://research.ubc.ca/vpri/ubc-peter-wall-solutions-initiative.

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