I am honored to serve in this interim capacity as the first Executive Director of the newly formed Canadian Medical Cannabis Council (CMCC). There has never been a more promising time for medical cannabis patients and researchers, and it’s happening right here in Canada.
In 2014, Canada made history when the government adopted the Marihuana for Medical Purposes Regulations (MMPR). The MMPR established strict standards for producing and distributing medical cannabis in an effort to guarantee safety, quality and security for patients. It creates a federally legal framework where licensed producers have the opportunity to serve tens of thousands of patients while also partnering with world-class researchers to advance our scientific understanding of the therapeutic potential of cannabinoids as medicine.
As a result of this innovative and ground breaking new regulatory regime, Canada has an opportunity to lead the world in advancing medical cannabis as a legitimate treatment option for patients who suffer from a diverse set of conditions. As the Interim Executive Director of the CMCC, I am proud to be a part of ensuring that change happens in a responsible and ethical way.
As a Graduate Researcher with the Center for Addictions Research of British Columbia and a PhD student in the University of Victoria’s Social Dimensions of Health program, my scientific research and publications include the therapeutic use of cannabis and other substances in the treatment of trauma and addiction. Additionally, I bring significant experience as a patient advocate and this professional and academic experience has led to opportunities to provide expert testimony before the Canadian House of Commons, the Canadian Senate, and the BC Supreme Court, and ultimately to being awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal for this work.
Increasing safe access to medical cannabis for those Canadians who might benefit from its use is something that I am passionate about, and that means building a responsible industry that has rigorous self-governance in place to ensure that licensed producers are accountable for their conduct. By adopting CMCC’s Code of Ethics, our members will help create an environment whereby medical cannabis producers operate with the utmost transparency, integrity and professionalism throughout every step of our supply chain. We owe to our patients nothing less than the highest ethical standards in our work; and this is our opportunity to replace some of the fear, stigma and misinformation that still impedes safe access medical use of cannabis with science, reason, and compassion.
I look forward to sharing more with you as our journey progresses and more members join our organization. In the meantime I encourage you to stay up-to-date on our efforts by following us on social media.
Interim Executive Director – Canadian Medical Cannabis Council
Vice President – Patient Research and Services, Tilray
Research Affiliate & Advisory Board Member – Centre for Addictions Research of British Columbia
Board Member – Canadian Drug Policy Coalition
Member – Canadian Consortium for the Investigation of Cannabinoids
Member – International Cannabinoid Research Society