A reminder that our Lift Cannabis Forum is tonight (May 7) at UBC Robson Square! Tickets are no longer available online (due to PayPal suspending our account overnight because cannabis), but you can go here to reserve tickets and pay at the door via credit card or cash: http://forum.liftcannabis.ca/tickets/.
A big thank you to all our sponsors for allowing us to make this event possible: Ample Organics, CNMMA, CannaPro, and Sante Cannabis. A further thanks to Tilray for providing an unrestricted grant for this event.
More About the Forum, its Purpose, and Future
We're very excited by our first Lift Cannabis Discussion Forum. Tonight will be the first of what we hope to be an ongoing series of Cannabis in Canada discussions/debates, with our next already tentatively scheduled for Monday, July 20th in Toronto.
The focus of this initial forum will be to look at some of the issues surrounding current testing standards and quality assurance and production practices within the MMPR. While this might sound a little wonky, what we hope to achieve is to further a discussion that is already occurring within the industry around some of these issues, as well as opening this discussion up to the general public and media, to broaden public awareness of these issues, and how it relates to some of the broader 'legalization' issues playing out in local, provincial, federal and even global policies around marijuana in general.
The MMPR represents one of the most highly-regulated, federally-legal medical marijuana systems in the world. The standards and practices written into the Marijuana for Medical Purposes Regulations are already being seen as a template for other countries around the world, and the regulations are not set in stone. They are evolving over time, and we currently have a great opportunity to help shape the conversation around how they can be refined.
We planned this event several months ago, with a general awareness of the City of Vancouver's plans and timeline for announcing its intent to regulate "marijuana-related business", and we are excited to bring these issues into the conversation being generated by the city's announcement. While our focus isn't on dispensaries or 'recreational' legalization, these pieces obviously tie in to the bigger picture. The dispensary model is one that could certainly be worked into the MMPR in the future, in some form. At one point the MMPR even allowed for distribution through pharmacies, and this is not necessarily a huge leap from a traditional 'dispensary model' used by many of the early compassion clubs in Canada.
As Vancouver pushes the national conversation about how to regulate over-the-counter sales, we feel it's very important for the general public to be aware of the current standards and production practices within Canada's currently legal system of production. Even the proposed legalization ideas by the federal Liberals will almost certainly include federal and provincial oversight of production and distribution. Knowing what the current practices are in Canada can provide even the 'recreational' approach with a good template for how to regulate those factors (like any other industry) even if only as a general reference point.
We are looking forward to this first discussion forum adding some nuance and background to the current issues being debated within Vancouver, in the broader context of current laws across Canada. See you tonight!
When: May 7. Doors open at 6pm, forum starts at 7pm (Arrive at 6pm for food, drinks, and to meet with exhibitors)
Where: UBC Robson Square, 800 Robson St., Vancouver
Speakers & Panelists:
- Philippe Lucas - Vice-President, Patient Research and Services, Tilray
- Emily Kirkham - Vice-President, Laboratory Operations, Signoto
- Jonathan Zaid - Founder of CFAMM & the Ontario student who fought for and finally received insurance coverage for his medical marijuana
- Hilary Black - Director of Patient and Community Services, Bedrocan Canada & founder of BC Compassion Club
- Brent Zettl - President & CEO of CanniMed
- Jon Page - Adjunct Professor, Botany Department, UBC, & Founder, Anandia Labs
- Dieter MacPherson - Executive Director, Victoria Cannabis Buyers Club, Co-Founder, Canlio
- Mark Haden - Adjunct Professor, School of Population & Public Health, UBC
If that's not enticing enough, BlissCo and the CNMMA are also putting on an Industry Night event immediately following the Lift Forum. It's two blocks away at Blackbird Public House and runs from 9:30pm-11:00pm (and it's free!). Learn more and RSVP here.