HTTP/1.0 200 OK Content-Type: text/html Crop Up In Smoke
Pubdate: Sun, 17 Nov 2002
Source: Calgary Sun, The (CN AB)
Copyright: 2002 The Calgary Sun
Author: Canadian Press
Bookmark: (Cannabis - Medicinal - Canada)


OTTAWA -- The first batch of marijuana grown by a private company
under a Health Canada contract was useless for clinical trials and had
to be burned, Health Minister Anne McLellan said yesterday.

Prairie Plant Systems Inc. received a five-year, $5-million contract
to grow marijuana in an abandoned copper mine in Flin Flon, Man., but
McLellan said their first batch was not uniform.

Prairie Plant Systems was unable to receive a supply of standardized
marijuana seeds from the U.S., McLellan said, so the company turned to
the RCMP, which supplied seeds that were seized in various raids.

"From the first harvest it was very clear -- my people did the tests
here -- that there were all sorts of marijuana. Plants from different
stocks with rates of THC, the active ingredient in cannabis, that
varied from plant to plant. All of it had to be burned," McLellan said.

Scientists have since been able to produce standardized seeds that
have led to a second, more uniform harvest in Flin Flon which will be
used for testing.

"That harvest is in the process of being checked," McLellan said. "It
will soon be available for clinical trials."

McLellan denied the perception that she does not favour medical
marijuana. McLellan acknowledged the position of pro-marijuana
activists, who tout the plant's value But McLellan said there is still
no scientific proof of these claims. 
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