GrowWise Health

GrowWise Health

December 22, 2015 16:15 ET

As Premier Kathleen Wynne Calls for Clearer Regulations on Medical Marijuana, Access to Information and Education Is Essential, Says GrowWise Health

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - Dec. 22, 2015) - Health Canada projects the number of patients seeking medical marijuana for a variety of conditions will climb to 400,000 in a decade and Premier Wynne is now calling for clearer regulations, including ensuring proper controls are in place for the safety and protection of all parties.

One Toronto-based company, GrowWise Health, hopes this includes a tougher crackdown on illegal dispensaries popping up across the province.

Today, the source, quality and medicinal content of cannabis sold at illegal dispensaries is not monitored by Health Canada or any other regulatory body. In 2013, the federal government introduced the Marihuana for Medical Purposes Regulations (MMPR), which requires patients to now purchase their medicinal cannabis directly from a Licensed Producer (LP) after receiving an authorization from a doctor.

"Right now cannabis is the only medication in Canada where the patient is expected to interact with the manufacturer and does not get support from a pharmacist or other healthcare professional during the dispensing process. "We wanted to change that" says Harvey Shapiro, Chief Executive Officer at GrowWise Health.

"Our team here at GrowWise Health is made up of highly qualified healthcare professionals who all believe in the medical potential of cannabis. Our Patient Educators provide a much needed service to patients whose physician has prescribed medical cannabis. We assist patients with selecting the most appropriate strain for their symptoms and condition, ensure that they are able to safely and effectively administer their medication and provide them with simple access to their medication by helping them complete their order with a Licensed Producer."

Licensed Producers are strictly regulated by Health Canada and must follow rigorous quality control procedures to ensure patients receive pharmaceutical grade medication. The medicinal content of each strain (defined by the plant's chemical compounds such as THC and CBD) are monitored and tested by LPs to ensure consistency.

The same cannot be said of all dispensaries.

Shapiro says that if we continue to approach illegal dispensaries this way, we could be placing a patient's health at risk by potentially exposing them to contaminated cannabis purchased from unregulated sources. He is specifically concerned for immuno-compromised patients for whom the consequences may be quite severe.

"We have too many dispensaries that continue to operate illegally, obtaining product from growers who are not permitted to distribute cannabis and are not subject to quality control standards. This is exactly what the MMPR program was introduced to address."

Premier Wynne also specifically states that Canada needs to have national standards and regulations for the marijuana clinics, but, what about enforcement?

"The call for clear regulations is great. However, the increasing number of dispensaries jeopardizes the legal medical marijuana industry that has been introduced to ensure optimal patient care."

GrowWise Health believes that along with enforcement must also come; greater education and access to reliable information.

"GrowWise Health is a portal for exactly this. We encourage patients seeking accurate and detailed information on the best treatment options available to reach out to us by phone, email or visiting our website. We are here to help."

About GrowWise Health

GrowWise Health provides patients and healthcare providers with personalized education to make informed choices about medical cannabis treatments.

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