First medical pot licences awarded
SASKATOON—A Saskatoon company has been granted the first two licences to produce and distribute medical marijuana under new Health Canada pot rules.
Prairie Plant Systems Inc. has been Health Canada’s only supplier of pharmaceutical-grade marijuana for 13 years.
“I think it really heralds the beginning of the new method and the new ways in which patients are going to be accessing medical marijuana in the future,” said Zettl.
“Patients now will be able to see their doctor; with the doctors they’ll fill in the medical note and they’ll be able to actually access medical marijuana directly from the licensed producer, such as ourselves right now,” he noted.
“Health Canada is stepping away from being the provider of it and just acting as the regulatory body.
“What it really boils down to is now it’s being treated much more like a true pharmaceutical in the way that it’s g oing to be accessed by patients,” Zettl added.
Prairie Plant Systems also has launched a subsidiary called CanniMed Ltd., which will be the distribution and support hub for patients and physicians, as well as the brand name of the pharmaceutical-grade pot products.
Zettl said the company had focused on one type of marijuana with the Health Canada contract.
It soon will start selling three brands of pharmaceutical-grade marijuana. Each brand has a different strength of THC and CBD—the active ingredients in pot.
Zettl said that will give patients more choice in how they treat their illnesses.
“Certain people respond better to higher levels of THC for managing pain . . . and they want the higher concentration,” he noted.
“Other patients want to have a high CBD line because they’re using it for managing other aspects, such as spasticity.”
Under new federal rules that take effect in April, authorized users of medical pot no longer can grow their own, but must purchase their supply from a licensed producer.