While extracts and edibles and the associated court cases have been a popular topic lately, extracts aren’t the only complaint tied to problems with a medical program which offers only dried cannabis to patients.
The lack of availability of raw cannabis under the MMPR, in addition to the availability of extracts, is something both Alan McDonell-Leclaire and Ginette Leclaire, former MMPR applicants under Auxilium, believe is a major concern for patient access under the new system. The two are beginning a new campaign geared towards getting the attention of policy makers and politicians. Leclaire specializes in Microscopy applied to Aerobiology.
The mother and son team believe that this fight will be the next wave to catch the attention of patients, physicians and researchers across Canada. “We have had support from many different authorities and people, ranging from when we were applying with the MMPR to now, in our coalition" explains McDonell-Leclaire.
"We have letters of support from a doctor from the University of Montreal, from a member of the House of Commons, from MMAR producers, from MMPR applicants who are frustrated beyond imagination of not getting any news from Health Canada, from specialized authorities like Dr. Kenneth Taylor, a macromolecular chemist well known here in Canada."
McDonell-Leclaire and Leclaire believe this campaign will pressure Health Canada to rethink the MMPR’s overly restrictive legislation on dried cannabis. Their focus is centered on awareness and highlighting how the policy itself both denies access and complicates efforts to ensure proper patient care.
Dr. Kenneth Taylor, in a letter of support, explains how cannabis, in its raw form, is loaded with beneficial compounds.
“Drying cannabis flowers converts an amount of both THC-A and CBD-A, present in raw cannabis, to activated THC and CBD in the dried form… Since CBD-A is more potent at treating nausea than CBD, and since THC-A also reduces acute nausea better then THC, I do not consider the MMPR system efficient at helping Canadians who need cannabis to treat their illnesses”.
McDonell-Leclaire is passionate about the issue.
“There are countless reasons why patients should care about this, why people in general should care about this. The MMPR does not permit selling marijuana in it's fresh form, nor do they permit the processing of cannabis into concentrates, like hashish or kief. Both are vital to patients."
The ideal outcome, describes McDonell-Leclaire, would be a fused system which borrows aspects of the old system, the MMAR, with the MMPR, believing patients should be allowed to continue to grow their own cannabis for medical purposes but with proper follow-up on the side of regulation.
“Concerning the MMAR, I’ve witnessed some contamination with my own eyes in grow-ops. Stricter hygiene monitoring must be applied”. This would allow patients to access cannabis in raw form, as well address issues of affordability and strain selection and consistency.
If you would like to get involved or help, you can contact Alan McDonell-Leclaire directly at 514-603-2937.
(Featured image from OrganiGram.ca)