Pubdate: Mon, 23 Dec 2013
Source: Metro (Toronto, CN ON)
Copyright: 2013 Metro Canada


Worries New Federal Rules Will Leave Some High and Dry

Mark Gobuty isn't raising cattle or cultivating corn on his farm 
north of Toronto - he's growing medical marijuana.

His company, The Peace Naturals Project, is one of the first to be 
approved by Health Canada to commercially produce and distribute 
dried cannabis ahead of changes next spring to Ottawa's marijuana 
medical access program.

Starting April 1, the program that began in 2001 will no longer 
require medicinal marijuana users to buy their medication through 
Ottawa's one approved supplier, grow their own plants, or designate 
someone to be their personal grower. Instead, users will be 
restricted to buying their cannabis from a list of approved suppliers.

Gobuty, Peace Naturals' chief executive and co-founder, says his 
company is focused on providing a quality product, but he also 
understands the compassionate side of drug dispensing.

"We certainly have vision. We want to help people," said Gobuty 
during an interview at his secluded and highly secured farm in 
Clearview Township.

"It's really (about) the purpose and intent of the medicine we can 
provide. If we can do one thing, we want to provide people with peace."

But that peace will come at a price. And some prescribed users, such 
as Marcel Gignac, Marcel Gignac, a 51-year-old from Amherst, N.S., 
from Amherst, N.S., are worried that privatizing the medical cannabis 
industry will come at too high a cost.

Gignac's supplier is a designated grower, but his wife, who also uses 
the herb to ease the pain from arthritis, knee and hip replacements, 
grows her own plants. He estimates she pays about five cents per gram 
for her medication.

He said he and other members from the volunteer-run Medicinal 
Cannabis Patients' Alliance of Canada, some of whom are unable to 
work due to their conditions, will not be able to afford market prices.
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