July 28, 2011
For Immediate Release
Patients Across Country Ask Health Canada to Recognize Medical Cannabis Dispensaries
As Health Canada’s public consultation period for their proposed changes to the medical marijuana regulations comes to a close, endorsements by patients requesting that dispensaries be recognized in the legal framework are pouring in from across the country.
The endorsements are part of a national campaign, dubbed “Dispensaries Are Indispensable”, launched by the Canadian Association of Medical Cannabis Dispensaries (CAMCD) in response to Health Canada’s proposed changes. “The endorsement campaign is in 20 dispensaries across Canada now and the first waves of endorsements are coming in from around the country,” said Adam Greenblatt, a director of CAMCD.
“This has been an enormous omission,” said Jeet-Kei Leung, a director of CAMCD. “Medical cannabis dispensaries have been providing valuable services for the past 15 years and over 30,000 patients have chosen dispensaries to provide their medicine. They must be included in the legal framework and, to do otherwise, would be a great disservice.”
On June 17, Health Canada announced plans to phase out personal production licenses and not renew its contract with Prairie Plant Systems, instead proposing that “licensed commercial producers” will supply medical marijuana patients through the mail.
“Patients have indicated overwhelmingly that they find great value from many benefits and resources they receive through a qualified dispensary,” said Leung. “These include education on effective use, one-on-one consultations, increased strain diversity, non-smoking options, and a safe, supportive community environment.”
“We are very much on the front-line of caring for patients with serious or terminal illnesses,” said Leung. “You won’t get any of that from a package in the mail.”
Greenblatt said, “The next phase of the campaign will focus on garnering endorsements from physicians, as well as health care organizations and providers.”
Organizations such as the Canadian AIDS Society and BC Civil Liberties Association have already stepped forward, endorsing the dispensary model in their submissions to Health Canada.
The Canadian Association of Medical Cannabis Dispensaries (CAMCD) has been recently established to promote a regulated community-based approach to providing medical cannabis and to support dispensaries in providing the highest quality of care.
Jeet-Kei Leung (604)875-0448
Adam Greenblatt (514)830-1331