Pubdate: Wed, 06 Apr 2016
Source: Metro (Edmonton, CN AB)
Copyright: 2016 Metro Canada
Author: Kevin Maimann
Page: 6


Says City Is Under-Serviced for Medical Marijuana

The founder of a medical marijuana clinic opening this month in 
Edmonton says the facility will provide a "necessary service."

"We know that Edmonton is under-serviced, from what we're hearing 
from both physicians and patients, with regards to physicians who are 
comfortable with prescribing cannabis," Dr. Danial Schecter said Tuesday.

On Monday, Edmonton anaesthesiologist Dr. Brian Knight told Metro 
there is no shortage of physicians to prescribe cannabis.

Schecter opened his Toronto clinic in 2014 and has since expanded to 
Halifax, Ottawa, St. John's and Barrie, making Edmonton's Hys Centre 
location his first venture into Western Canada.

Patients will need to be referred by their personal doctors to get 
into the clinic, and the clinic will not dispense the drug. Federal 
laws require patients with prescriptions to have orders shipped to 
them by licensed producers.

"Patients that come to our clinic are aware that if they just want a 
prescription to marijuana, then we're not the place for that. But if 
they want help to integrate cannabinoid medicine into their overall 
treatment, then we can work with them," Schecter said.

The clinic will primarily help people suffering from chronic pain, 
but also those suffering from conditions like Multiple Sclerosis, 
Crohn's disease and pediatric seizures.

Schecter expects to draw physicians who are looking to try something 
different and expects to serve 1,000 to 2,000 patients in the 
clinic's first year.

Aaron Bott, president of the Mobile Access Compassionate Resources 
Organization Society (MACROS), blames the College of Physicians and 
Surgeons of Alberta's opposition to cannabis for leaving many doctors 
reluctant to prescribe it.

He says what Edmonton needs beyond clinics are dispensaries, which 
are currently still illegal.

Last July, Edmonton Police shut down the MACROS dispensary after 11 
years of operation, a move that left 1,000 patients in need of a new 
source of marijuana.
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MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom