Cannabis Industry association furthers physician outreach

The Canadian Medical Cannabis Industry Association (CMCIA) is a member-driven association representing Licensed Producers and Applicants under the Marihuana for Medical Purposes Regulations (MMPR) program.  The Association serves as a centralized industry group that seeks to create meaningful, socially responsible industry standards, policies, and best practices for...

The Canadian Medical Cannabis Industry Association (CMCIA) is a member-driven association representing Licensed Producers and Applicants under the Marihuana for Medical Purposes Regulations (MMPR) program.  The Association serves as a centralized industry group that seeks to create meaningful, socially responsible industry standards, policies, and best practices for the benefit of patients in conjunction with Health Canada.

Although still in its infancy, much like Canada's new medical marihuana regulatory regime, the CMCIA is making inroads and having a positive impact, as explained by CMCIA Executive Director, Neil Belot.  "The intention is to help shape the emerging medical cannabis industry in Canada for the benefit of patients by focusing on key issues such as affordability and education, reasonable access to derivative products, standardized product laboratory testing, and sensible tax legislation and regulations related to MMPR purchases".

Expanding the forms of medical cannabis that are legal across all of Canada beyond dried flowers would be a blessing for many suffering Canadians seeking alternatives […] Affordability is also of primary concern for patients and tackling that challenge remains a main focus for our members”, Mr. Belot continued. We are actively working to affect insurers and provincial drug benefit programs so that medical cannabis will be covered in a similar way to other medications.

CMCIA is currently focusing its collective efforts on supporting Cannabinoids in Clinical Practice, an upcoming cross-Canada, five-city educational event organized by the Canadian Consortium for the Investigation of Cannabinoids (CCIC) for physicians and practitioners.  The CMCIA is supporting the event through an unrestricted educational grant to the CCIC to help facilitate the delivery of balanced, evidence-based cannabinoid education to healthcare practitioners across Canada.

As a federally registered Canadian not-for-profit organization, the CCIC serves as a platform for Canadian and international researchers investigating endocannabinoids and cannabinoids to network and discuss their work, reach out to the larger medical community through conferences, and initiate further research. By helping represent an evidence-based approach to therapeutic uses of cannabis, the CCIC helps the medical community become more aware and informed about the potential therapeutic applications of cannabinoids.

Since the use of medicinal cannabis requires a physician recommendation under the MMPR program, it is important to ensure that physicians obtain current, reliable, and accurate information to assist in determining the suitability of medicinal cannabis in the treatment of patients. CMCIA is anticipating a strong turnout from health practitioners in Halifax, Ottawa, Vancouver, Calgary and Montreal (French language event), ideally leading to more patients having the opportunity to have productive conversations about medical marijuana with well informed local doctors.

“We are very grateful to the independent third-party planning committees that put together the program content for these events,” Mr. Belot emphasized.   “The CMCIA's role is to provide the funding.  Ultimately, the goal is to create an opportunity for the CCIC to connect with physicians and nurse practitioners across the country and to help them gain a deeper understanding of the therapeutic use of medicinal cannabis and engage in a dialogue. Having world-renowned clinical cannabinoid expert Dr. Mark Ware lead interactive discussions with attendees across Canada is going to clear up misconceptions in this growing field of medical study.  Attendees will learn about the endocannabinoid system, potential applications of cannabinoids in practice, discuss patient case studies that explore the benefits and considerations surrounding efficacy, and discuss how to best approach cannabinoids as an option in patient care."

Dr. Mark Ware, Associate Professor in Family Medicine and Anesthesia at McGill University and CCIC Executive Director, is widely recognized for his fair and balanced approach to advocacy and research.

“As physicians, our number one priority is to help patients. It is imperative that physicians have sufficient knowledge about cannabis and cannabinoids in order to engage in informed discussions with patients about the therapeutic use of these drugs” said Dr. Mark Ware. “The CMCIA sponsored education program will build greater awareness of the risks and benefits of cannabinoids among Canadian physicians. We are encouraged to see the industry supporting this important work. We hope this is the beginning of an important partnership between physicians, researchers, and the medical cannabis industry”, Ware continued.

Support for this initiative was provided via an unrestricted educational grant by the following member organizations: ABcann, Agrima, Bedrocan Canada, CannTrust, MedCannAccess, MedReleaf, MariCann, Mettrum, OrganiGram, and Tweed.

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For more information on Cannabinoids in Clinical Practice events in your area visit www.ccic.net/tour2015 or http://www.cmcia.ca/cicp/

 

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