Medical Marijuana in Clearview
For about the last 16 months a federally regulated medical marijuana growing operation has existed at a farm property on Sunnidale Concession 12 in Clearview Township, The Sun has learned.
The company running the operation at the leased site is The Peace Naturals Project, owned by Clearview resident Mark A. Gobuty. He contacted the newspaper Thursday, May 23 to announce the business was operating in the municipality.
Gobuty said he decided to go public with the venture so there is full disclosure and no suspicions about what the company is doing. “We are very proud of what we’re doing and there is no shame,” he said. The company took the same open, transparent approach with the OPP when it first started to operate in the community, Gobuty noted. He said the company encouraged police to visit the secure site at any time to inspect, adding that to date officers have been through the indoor growing facility six times.
The business is operating with a licence from Health Canada, which regulates medical marijuana growing operations.
So far the company is providing marijuana to two people that have prescriptions from their doctors and the authorization of Health Canada to use it for medicinal purposes. Right now it can legally provide marijuana for up to four people.
Currently, people apply to take part in Health Canada’s Marijuana Medical Access Program. If accepted, they can grow marijuana at home or buy it from an approved producer. But the federal government is making changes that will take effect in April 2014. Under the new rules, people won’t be allowed to cultivate their own plants. Instead, they will have to access commercial growers. The aim is to better regulate marijuana growing. Users also won’t need a licence from Health Canada – just a doctor’s prescription.
Gobuty said that his company is going through the approval process so it can become one of the commercial growers once the rules change. If successful, the company will be able to expand its growing operations and the number of people it can supply. The company aims to become “the best commercial cannabis producer in Canada,” Gobuty said.
Thousands of Canadians use marijuana for medical reasons. People that smoke the plant report it easing pain and encouraging appetite. Gobuty said he personally became interested in the plant as an alternative to pharmaceuticals when his parents were dealing with a variety of health issues. They started to use marijuana, reporting some pain relief, and from there Gobuty explored growing the crop for others.
Today, he has a whole team working with him on the project, including a doctor. The company hopes to develop different strains of marijuana that will help people battling specific diseases.
Gobuty jokes about being a “drug dealer” and technically he is one but he stresses the company is completely legitimate and documents everything it does. He said they have enough documentation to “choke a horse.”
Friday morning, Gobuty and his team made a presentation to Clearview Township’s Economic Development Committee. Again, the aim was transparency, he said. Gobuty said if people have a problem with what they are doing he hopes they’ll contact him so they can “work through it.”
Mayor Ken Ferguson said he first met with Gobuty in March and again in April to learn about the project. He said until that point he did not know much about medical marijuana.
“Well I look at it as strictly agricultural,” he said. “It’s highly regulated and that’s why he’s being so up front with everyone. And I look at it very positively as long as everything is done up to snuff.”
People wanting to reach Gobuty do so through e-mail. The address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Published: The Stayner Sun
By: Michael Gennings
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