Pubdate: Sat, 15 Apr 2017
Source: Winnipeg Sun (CN MB)
Copyright: 2017 Canoe Limited Partnership
Author: Glen Dawkins
Page: 6
Referenced: Cannabis Act:


Cam Battley recently did a presentation near Calgary where high school
students talked about how easy it was to access cannabis in their
school. But when he asked if anyone was selling illegal liquor, the
answer was no.

"Managing a legal substance like alcohol with age restrictions and
regulation has actually worked much better than having a prohibition
system," said Battley, the Executive Vice President of Aurora Cannabis
which is the second largest producer of medical cannabis in Canada.
"That's what we're trying to do with cannabis."

Battley, who has a 55,200-square-foot facility about an hour north of
Calgary for growing high-quality medical cannabis and is currently
constructing a 800,000-square-foot facility near the Edmonton
International Airport which will be the world's largest and most
technically-advanced cannabis production facility and will be capable
of producing in excess of 100,000 kilograms of high-quality cannabis
per year, was responding to the federal government's legislation to
legalize consumer marijuana. Battley will be speaking at the Cannabis
Canada conference in Winnipeg May 3-5.

Canada, Battley said, currently has the highest rate of youth use of
cannabis in the developed world according to international
organizations like UNICEF.

"That's a problem and one of the things that we would like to achieve
with the legalization of cannabis is to make it at least as
challenging for underage teenagers to get their hands on cannabis than
it is compared to alcohol," he said. "The second major objective in
the government's announcement is they wanted to get the profits out of
the hands of criminal organizations and to take a vast underground
market that is unregulated and ... create a regulated, legal and
sustainable market."

The medical cannabis system in Canada is the most well-developed,
successful and largest in the world with more than 160,000 patients
with a prescription from a doctor to treat illnesses from multiple
sclerosis to bowel disorders, Battley said, and the number of patients
is growing 10% each month.

"I don't think that it is fair to argue that the federal government
has been rushing this," he said. "They seem to have taken their time
very specifically to get this right the first time and I think I know
why. The world's eyes are upon us. Canada is seen as a leader in this
space and I believe that countries around the world trust Canada to do

Battley plans to work closely with the federal and provincial
governments on implementing the legislation.

"We're inventing a new industry in real time and it's a fascinating
challenge but there's also a tremendous responsibility associated with
this," said Battley. "We want to get this right. We want to create a
sustainable system and so as licensed producers we have a
responsibility to be part of the solution here and encourage
responsible use and that we take steps to make sure cannabis does not
get in the hands of youth so that this will be a successful policy."

- - With files from David Larkins
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