Pubdate: Wed, 17 Aug 2016
Source: Regina Leader-Post (CN SN)
Copyright: 2016 The Leader-Post Ltd.
Author: Pamela Cowan
Page: A3


Kelly Csada opened a medical marijuana dispensary in Regina on Monday
to help people like herself.

Since 1990, Csada has suffered from Crohn's disease. Over the years,
she has had 18 feet of her small intestine removed, five bowel
resections and been prescribed numerous potent medications, including
fentanyl, OxyContin and morphine.

In researching alternatives to narcotics, she learned about Phoenix
tears oil - a concentrated form of the cannabis plant.

"I couldn't find it and I had people offer to make it for me, but I
said, 'No. I put so much medication into my body.' I wanted to make
sure that what I was getting was clean and pure.' "

She found the oil at a Whitewood dispensary and asked her doctor if
she could try it.

"He was a little iffy at first, but then he said, 'OK, let's give it a
few months and see what happens,' " Csada said. "I go back to him on
Sept. 16 and I'm positive that my Crohn's is in remission or gone. I
feel amazing ... Now I'm almost totally off all of my narcotics."

Csada doesn't smoke marijuana. Instead, she puts a rice-sized drop of
cannabis oil on her hand every morning and licks it off. It can be put
on food or in smoothies, she added.

She's convinced marijuana can help others so she set up Kelz Medical
Services Corp., at 2410 Dewdney Ave. There she sells cannabis-infused
creams and salves to members with a prescription.

However, storefront operations that sell marijuana violate Health
Canada regulations.

According to Health Canada's website: "Storefront operations selling
marijuana, commonly known as dispensaries and compassion clubs, are
not authorized to sell cannabis for medical or any other purposes."

Health Canada has been saying that for a long time, Csada

"The dispensaries are still here, still running," she said. "I'm sure
they're running in the city already - I'm just being open ... We focus
on educating and patient counselling - I think what I'm doing is the
right thing."

However, her view is not shared by Regina police.

Anyone contravening Health Canada regulations means "they are subject
to law enforcement action," said Elizabeth Popowich, Regina Police
Service spokeswoman.

Last week, Health Canada announced the new Access to Cannabis for
Medical Purposes Regulations (ACMPR). These regulations will replace
the Marihuana for Medical Purposes Regulations (MMPR) when they come
into force Aug. 24.

The single largest change will be that Canadians who need medicinal
marijuana will be able to produce a limited amount of cannabis for
their own purposes, or designate someone to produce it for them.

Csada believes more changes are in the offing.

"All of the stores that have been closed are reopening because there
is a need for people to have reasonable access," she said. "I always
tell the story of a 60-year-old woman who is diagnosed with breast
cancer and now Health Canada is telling her, 'You can grow your own
marijuana plants.' "

What should the woman do with the plants so she gets the medication
she needs for her cancer? Csada asked.

According to Health Canada, the 34 Licensed Producers (LP) across
Canada who currently supply close to 70,000 Canadians are expected to
continue to be the main source of safe, quality-controlled cannabis
for medical purposes.

"I don't believe it's reasonable access to only be able to go to LPs
and have a couple of different strains because I know some people that
have to use the marijuana and smoke it for their illnesses - they know
what strain helps them ... From all the research I've been doing, the
strains they need aren't there," Csada said.

She opened the dispensary as a non-profit corporation and plans to use
some of the profits to support Crohn's research and mental health and
addictions services.

"I hope they will do more research on Crohn's and colitis and cannabis
because it is an amazing medication for that," she said. "Mental
health and drug addiction is close to my heart. I lost my son. He was
a drug addict."
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