Pubdate: Wed, 20 May 2015
Source: London Free Press (CN ON)
Copyright: 2015 The London Free Press
Author: Hank Daniszewski
Page: A2


MEDICAL MARIJUANA: Business will screen patients and fill
prescriptions from a licensed, federal producer

A chain that bills itself "Canada's leading cannabis-specialized
medical clinic" is setting up shop in London.

Canadian Cannabis Clinics will open June 1 in a medical office
building at 279 Wharncliffe Rd. N.

The clinic will assess patients and write prescriptions for medical

"It seems like an under-serviced market, a good opportunity," said
Ronan Levy, a company director. Before moving to London, Canadian
Cannabis Clinics consulted Dr. Mike Hart, a London doctor who has been
prescribing medical marijuana part-time.

Last May, Options Health Care opened on Dundas St. E., aimed at
writing prescriptions and allowing patients to order from a licensed
producer for delivery on-site. But the clinic, opened by Dr. John
Craven, closed without explanation within a few weeks.

The new clinic will be staffed by part-time doctors, counsellors and
staff. There will be nomarijuana on site. Patients will use the
prescription to order marijuana from a licensed producer on an
official federal website. Levy said Canadian Cannabis Clinics prefers
a patient have a referral from a family doctor, although that's not

He said the operation screens patients prior to assessment and rejects
30% to 40% of callers if they appear to be recreational users or
haven't tried traditional treatments before asking for a medical
marijuana prescription. Levy said clients are also advised to buy
theirmarijuana legally. "We see this as medicine. We take the view
that you should be getting it through proper channels." The clinic
doesn't charge patients to write a prescription and gets income from
OHIP fees. The Toronto-based business opened its first clinic in St.
Catharines last September and opened a second clinic in Etobicoke
recently. It plans to have seven clinics opened by the end of July.
Dozens of medical marijuana shops have opened in Vancouver to both
prescribe and sell medical marijuana, but Levy, who is a lawyer, said
his company has no plans to operate on that model.

"Those models aren't entirely illegal, but they are questionable. They
are taking advantage of a loophole and they seem to get awaywith it,"
he said.

Levy said Canadian Cannabis Clinics is closely following the law and
isn't concerned police or the federal or provincial governments will
try to shut down the operation.

The business will hold a seminar in London on June 11 to advise local
doctors on using medical marijuana as a treatment. Levy said doctors
were caught off guard when a change in federal law made them
responsible for prescribing marijuana, instead of Health Canada.

Medical associations have cautioned doctors about prescribing medical
marijuana because of a lack of research on its effects and appropriate

"We are trying to make it a more acceptable treatment option. There's
a lack of information out there and we are trying to close that gap,"
Levy said.

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Medical clinic focused on assessing patients and prescribing medical

London clinic opens June 1 at 279 Wharncliffe Rd. N.

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