Pubdate: Sat, 13 Jan 2018
Source: Prince Albert Daily Herald (CN SN)
Copyright: 2018 Prince Albert Daily Herald
Author: Jason Kerr
Page: A1


With legalization right around the corner, one P.A. resident wants to
help educate people on the benefits of marijuana

Mike McCaul is not your average cannabis activist.

McCaul, who moved to Prince Albert from Calgary in 2008, first began
using marijuana to help alleviate severe back problems. He rarely uses
cannabis these days as his injuries have healed, but his passion for
helping others understand the medical benefits remains.

"It's the education aspect and the health aspect, the benefits of it,"
McCaul explained. "Legalization is right around the corner, but I'm
trying to help people understand that there is a medical side to it."

Roughly five years ago, he put his money where his mouth is. McCaul
opened his own shop in Prince Albert and sold prescribed medicinal
cannabis to local residents.

His customers range from young patients with Crohn's Disease to a
surprisingly high number of senior citizens. Now, he's hoping to see
that number go up, not because he wants more sales, but because he
wants to see more people go pain free.

"I'm just trying to push provincially, as well as locally, to see how
we can make this a positive experience, instead of people seeing this
as alcohol, as another problem," McCaul said. "It can be very
beneficial for our community. It just has to be done right."

He didn't waste any time being proactive either. McCaul has already
met with both of Prince Albert's MLAs, who he found very cooperative
and open to talking about the issue. He also made a short presentation
at City Hall on Jan. 8 during the most recent executive committee meeting.

Ideally, he'd like to partner with the health region and operate as a
medical facility and not like a liquor board store.

"I'm not one to break the rules," McCaul said.

"I usually have been a man who follows the rules quite

He's already put his name forward for the provincial government's
lotto system, which will award two permits to sell cannabis in Prince
Albert. He also has plans to attend an upcoming medical marijuana
conference in Saskatoon, which features some of Canada's top

So far, the response has been hesitant, but positive. He's happy with
the respectful tone the debate has taken, and hopes that will lead a
successful transition when legalization takes place.

"I'm not here to just push as much product out the door as possible,"
McCaul said.

"It's about meeting with people and understanding what they need."
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