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Working to meet growing demand

Oct 3, 2013

The demand for medical marijuana is on the rise in Canada, and that’s prompted the federal government to look at new rules for growing and selling the drug.

“The pain was coming at night so I cried all night,” says Marcela Fibingr.

She suffers from fibromyalgia and for the past seven years has been living with chronic pain. She says none of the pills her doctor prescribed seemed to help, so a friend suggested she try marijuana.

After acquiring a licence from Health Canada, Fibingr made arrangements with a licensed grower to produce her medicine. The marijuana is infused into coconut oil that she eats on a cracker.

“I don’t take any pain killer after I start using medical marijuana,” she says. “I don’t touch pain killers.”

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The medical marijuana was grown inside a high-security facility in Clearview Township. There are specially selected varieties of marijuana grown under carefully controlled conditions.Darryl Hudson is a molecular biologist with The Peace Naturals Project. He says the goal is to produce perfectly consistent marijuana so doctors know what they are prescribing.

Hudson says the “medical community … typically relies on standardized medicines so they know the exact dosage they are giving a patient and understand how that medicine is going to affect them.”

There are nearly 2,000 designated producers like this in Canada. More than 8,000 people are licensed to grow their own at home but medical marijuana regulations are changing.

As of April 1 next year, patients will only be able to access marijuana through licensed commercial growers like this. It costs between $6 and $10 per gram, enough to make two marijuana cigarettes.

A prescription or medical declaration from a doctor is required. Once verified, the marijuana is couriered to the patient.

Mark Gobuty with The Peace Naturals Project says Health Canada will be issuing licenses under the new regulations soon.

“We believe that companies like ourselves that are really client-centric-focused on medicinal will create a new industry and a new standard for the acceptance of medicinal cannabis,” he says.

The new regulations will be phased in and come into full effect April 1, 2014.

Published in: CTV Barrie
By: Roger Klein

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