Friday, January 31, 2014

Medical marijuana users may face pot shortage

Medical marijuana users in B.C. are worried there soon could be a shortage of legal weed.

In just 62 days, all medical marijuana must be purchased from a federally approved supplier, but so far only five producers are licensed to grow and sell cannabis — the nearest one to B.C. is in Saskatchwan.

Medical marijuana supplier Jean Chiasson of MediJean says his lab is currently only licensed to research which strains of cannabis treat pain, seizures and a host of other ailments.
Jean Chiasson of MediJean

Medical marijuana supplier Jean Chaisson of MediJean is waiting to get Health Canada approval to produce and sell cannabis. (CBC)

"We're looking for not the holy grail, but many holy grails," said Chiasson.

"Through research and development, we can find out what it does, we can find out the potential of this great herb, this great plant ... and service a lot of patients."

The problem is they still don't have a permit and Chiasson points out, it takes time to grow the plant that needs to be bottled and shipped to patients.

"We're hoping to be able to gene sequence, we're hoping to be able to patent what we do do, and if we do come up with certain strains and Health Canada allows us we can disseminate our product around Canada," said Chiasson.

MediJean has applied to produce 15 thousand kilograms of marijuana a year.
Few companies licensed to produce and sell

Last year, Canada's 38 thousand pot patients were approved to consume 190 thousand kilograms of cannabis.

On April 1, however,  the dispensaries and patients who now grow their own marijuana are expected to chop down their plants and start buying online for as much as seven times the price.

So far only five companies have been licensed to produce and sell marijuana under the new regime — four in Ontario and one in Saskatchewan — but several hopefuls are already advertising online. Three companies are licensed to produce, but not sell. Continue Reading...