Pubdate: Thu, 31 Aug 2017
Source: Vancouver Sun (CN BC)
Copyright: 2017 Postmedia Network Inc.
Author: Pamela Fayerman
Page: A1


B.C.'s former health minister, Terry Lake, is moving to the Ottawa
area this weekend to become a vice-president of a medical marijuana
company that is poised for massive growth.

Hydropothecary Corp. is a Health Canada-authorized producer of medical
marijuana with a 26-hectare facility in Gatineau, Que., that is about
to get six times larger. The firm was co-founded in 2013 by a stalwart
Liberal, Adam Miron, who also helped start the news website

Miron met Lake in the early 1990s when he got a business degree at
Thompson Rivers University in Kamloops, where Lake lived. Miron helped
Lake with his successful campaign to become mayor of Kamloops in 2005.

Lake said in an interview that he's kept in touch with Miron over the

Miron was national director of Young Liberals of Canada from 2007 to
2009 and a provincial co-ordinator for the B.C. Liberals in 2007.

Last week, Hydropothecary announced it has bought a large
Dutch-designed greenhouse. The company's expansion would have it
poised to capitalize on the emerging recreational market, with the
federal government preparing to legalize recreational marijuana.

The greenhouse will increase the company's growing capacity from
50,000 square feet to 300,000 square feet. Annual production will
increase to 25 tonnes of dried cannabis. Hydropothecary - which is
traded on the TSX Venture Exchange - also sells a sublingual product,
sprays, pills and oils.

Lake said after he decided not to run again in the last election, he
kept his mind open to "new opportunities, things that are in my sphere
of interest."

"The whole medical marijuana business and pending legalization of
recreational marijuana is very much of interest to me. I have gone on
record as describing this as a positive step for quality assurance,
regulating the supply and taking the criminal element out of it," he
said Wednesday.

Last year, when he was still health minister, he attended a cannabis
science conference in New York where his daughter was presenting some
research and he became more intrigued by the industry.

Lake said his role at Hydropothecary will be vice-president of
corporate and social responsibility and his mandate is to ensure the
company's business practices take into account social, environmental
and health concerns of consumers and the public, "especially as we
move to legalized recreational marijuana."

"This is a huge policy shift and we have to be concerned with
protecting the health of young Canadians," he said. "We have to abide
by the highest possible standards."

Asked about his own cannabis consumption, Lake said: "I wasn't a big
user in high school - I experimented a little - and since then, I can
count on one hand the times I've tried it. We certainly know it is
efficacious for a number of illnesses like epilepsy in children,
Parkinson's, multiple sclerosis and post-traumatic stress disorder.
There's growing evidence that it might displace opioids or alcohol.

"There's so much benefit that can come from regulating the market
properly, because there will be less stigma and that should spur more
knowledge and research. But I agree that we all have to be careful not
to oversell it."

While he'll be working near the national capital, Lake doubts it will
make him yearn for political life again.

"I'm looking forward to not being in politics, at least at this
point," he said. "I'll be interacting with governments and public
health people, and I like that I will be using my skills and my
background in science."

Lake's abilities will undoubtedly come in handy to help prevent
missteps like a recent one that saw the company halt sales temporarily
after Health Canada tested its products and found trace amounts of a
fungicide not approved for use by cannabis growers. In a story in the
Ottawa Citizen, Morin conceded the matter was serious and the company
was investigating the source of the chemical called myclobutanil,
which has been known to be used by producers to control mould on
marijuana plants.
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MAP posted-by: Matt