Former BC Premier Mike Harcourt says Ottawa has the solution at hand: Medicinal and recreational pot should come from the same source of supply – licensed producers
Vancouver – September 29, 2016 – A recent Globe and Mail report that Health Canada knew a year ago about dangerous chemicals in marijuana from Vancouver dispensaries yet took no action underscores the need to establish a safe and secure supply before recreational marijuana is legalized, former BC Premier Mike Harcourt said today.
Mr. Harcourt, who is Chair of True Leaf Medicine International Ltd., a BC-based Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations (ACMPR) applicant, said the government not acting on information that marijuana sold at dispensaries contains restricted pesticides and herbicides, shows that the current chaotic situation surrounding the use of marijuana can have dangerous consequences for consumers.
It is especially unfortunate, he says, “Because a safe and secure source of supply is right under their noses.”
Mr. Harcourt said the solution involves the 33 licensed producers who have been through an exhaustive seven-part process of obtaining a license to produce and distribute medical marijuana, and another 416 (including True Leaf) who are currently working their way through the rigors of the process, which include screening, security clearance, review, pre-licence inspection and, finally, licensing.
Mr. Harcourt believes that if the supply for both medicinal and recreational customers comes from these licensed, accountable producers, customers can be assured of a safe and secure supply through approved channels. Dispensaries would also be required to purchase supply from licensed companies, preventing the sale of contaminated product.
On August 17, Mr. Harcourt sent a letter entitled True Leaf Recommends Same System for Supply and Sale Of Medical and Recreational Marijuana, that outlines this proposal, to former Deputy Prime Minister Anne McLellan, who is heading up the task force advising the government on the design of the legislation and the regulatory framework for a new system of marijuana sales and distribution.
Mr. Harcourt is following up that submission with a request to meet with Ms. McLellan and Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould, to discuss True Leaf’s proposal, and is awaiting a response.
Mr. Harcourt said the government must act now to speed up the vetting process of applicants in the queue in order to be ready for the increase in demand when marijuana is legalized for recreational purposes. “Many of those 400+ companies are ready, willing and able to provide a safe and secure supply for distribution now,” he said.
Medical marijuana patients often rely on dispensaries, even though they are considered illegal by the federal government, because it can be difficult and frustrating to obtain marijuana from legally licenced medicinal marijuana facilities.
The supply problem will only get worse once marijuana is legalized for recreational purposes, which could happen by the fall of 2017. The federal government has pledged to introduce the legislation for that purpose in the spring of 2017.
About True Leaf:
True Leaf Medicine International Ltd. is entering the $104.9 billion global pet care industry with a line of hemp-focused pet chews and supplements marketed through natural pet health and veterinary channels in Canada and the US. The company has also filed an application under Health Canada’s Marihuana for Medicinal Purposes Regulations (MMPR) to become a Canadian licensed producer through its ‘True Leaf Medicine’ subsidiary. It has passed through the preliminary and enhanced screening process of Health Canada’s review and is currently awaiting security clearance and ‘pre-licensing inspection’ approval.
About Mike Harcourt:
Mike Harcourt is the former Premier of British Columbia and Mayor of Vancouver. Currently he is Chair of True Leaf Medicine International Ltd and Chair of UBCʼs Regional Sustainability Council. He was appointed by Prime Minister to National Round Table on the Environment and Economy and was federally appointed BC Treaty Commissioner. He has chaired the Prime Minister’s Advisory Committee for Cities and Communities. He received the Order of Canada in 2012.
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