June 19, 2012 – Ottawa, ON
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Medical Cannabis Reforms at Critical Juncture in Canadian History
A consultation process was launched by Health Canada in June of 2011 to inform amendments to the Marihuana Medical Access Program (MMAP). The Canadian Association of Medical Cannabis Dispensaries (CAMCD) participated in the consultations along with other stakeholders, including patients, municipalities, physicians, law enforcement agencies and Canadians.
A summary of the key themes emerging from these consultations was recently released by Health Canada. “We were pleased to see that there was widespread support for creating a regulated industry for the production and distribution of medical cannabis” explained Rade Kovacevic, President of CAMCD. “Health Canada’s summary report also demonstrated stakeholder support for other amendments that we hope will improve patient access to this program.”
“CAMCD is particularly pleased the summary included the view that medical cannabis dispensaries could play an important role in providing education and outreach to individuals who use cannabis for medical purposes” stated Mr. Kovacevic. Over the past 15 years, medical cannabis dispensaries have served over 30,000 patients upon recommendation of their healthcare practitioner. They have vast practical experience with patient care, education, access and administration, and medical cannabis varieties and products.
The summary stated that some stakeholders thought there might be some discomfort with store-front entities. According to Mr. Kovacevic, “this concern was vague in nature and we believe is largely due to stigma and lack of understanding of the role dispensaries play and the benefits they provide to patients and the community. To address this CAMCD will continue to provide their expertise and work collaboratively with Health Canada to help create a reformed MMAP that meets the needs of all stakeholders.”
In collaboration with the University of British Columbia and Canadians for Safe Access, CAMCD will be holding consultation meetings June 28-29 in Vancouver to hear from policy-makers, health care providers, patients and dispensaries in British Columbia. These consultations will provide an opportunity for CAMCD to listen to concerns and answer questions about dispensaries, as well as to receive input into a standards and certification program for medical cannabis dispensaries being developed by CAMCD.
The Canadian Association of Medical Cannabis Dispensaries is a not-for-profit corporation established to promote a regulated community- based approach to medical cannabis access, and to support medical
cannabis dispensaries in the provision of high quality patient care across Canada.
Rade Kovacevic, 519-780-7830
For a copy of the Report on the 2011 Consultations Results: