Medical Marijuana

Marnie Swanson, Philippe Lucas, Barbara HartleyPhilippe Lucas; Vice President, Patient Research and Services at Tilray, Nanaimo’s medical marijuana growing company was our engaging speaker on Friday 2 October 2015.   

Diagnosed with Hepatitis C in 1995, Philippe had a very personal reason to get involved with medical cannabis, as a patient.  Not only is he a principal in Tilray, but he is also a PhD student in the University of Victoria’s Social Dimensions of Health program, and a Graduate Researcher with the Center for Addictions Research of British Columbia.

He recently told the Vancouver Sun that “despite thousands of years of use for fibre, food, and medicine, our scientific understanding of the hemp and cannabis plant are truly in their infancy”.  Tilray is attempting to bridge the information gap by sponsoring research into the levels of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) responsible for marijuana’s psychoactive effects and cannabidiol (CBD) ― which produces a physical effect without a high in the plant.

The company has also formed a partnership with the University of British Columbia to conduct the country’s first clinical trial evaluating the therapeutic benefits of medical cannabis as treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Tilray provides financial and coordination support for the study in addition to donating several different medical cannabis strain combinations with varying levels of THC and CBD.

Philippe served as a Victoria City Councillor and Capital Region Director from 2008-2011, and over the years he has received a number of accolades and awards, including the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal (2013) for his work and research on medical cannabis, the University of Victoria Blue and Gold Award for academic excellence and community service (2007), and the Vancouver Island Civil Liberties Association Leadership Award (2002).

Key resources to access information on medical marijuana include:

If you were unable to attend, the following presentation is very similar to that which Philippe gave to our membership:

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