A company that has a massive marijuana greenhouse in Delta has made a commitment to help address B.C.’s opioid crisis with marijuana.
Canopy Growth Corp. announced that Dr. MJ Milloy, a recognized leader in the field of epidemiology, will be the first Canopy Growth professor of cannabis science at UBC. Initially, this professorship will lead clinical trials to explore the role cannabis can play in helping people struggling with opioid use, the company explains.
Canopy is providing a $2.5-million grant and another $500,000 will come from the B.C. government.
The position will remain arms-length from the company, according to the university.
Milloy is a research scientist at the British Columbia Centre on Substance Use.
Milloy’s research will contribute to an emerging body of evidence suggesting that cannabis can have a positive impact on the well-being of people with opioid use disorder, the company says.
“The therapeutic benefits of cannabis are only just beginning to be understood. Early research has shown that it could have a stabilizing impact for people with opioid use disorder, improving their quality of life and offering a pathway to long-term treatment solutions,” Milloy said in a news release. “In the midst of an overdose crisis, we have a scientific imperative to build upon this research. I’m grateful for the support from Canopy Growth and the Province of B.C., and their commitment towards investing in evidence-based solutions to this urgent health crisis.”
"The opioid overdose crisis demands holistic and scientific approaches in order to develop new knowledge and strategies in response to this urgent health issue facing our society. The new Canopy Growth Professor of Cannabis Science at UBC promises to generate much-needed evidence-based solutions that will improve the health and well-being of British Columbians,” Dr. Mark Ware, Canopy Growth chief medical officer, added.
In the first nine months of 2018, it’s estimated that 1,143 people died of a suspected opioid overdose in B.C.
“We need all hands-on-deck to save lives and help people find the treatment and recovery services that will work for them long term,” said Minister of Mental Health and Addictions Judy Darcy. “This first-of-its-kind professorship will lead research and clinical trials on how cannabis products can be used to address the overdose crisis that is taking three to four lives a day.”
Already the largest supplier of legal medical marijuana in Canada, Ontario-based Canopy Growth Corp., which provides about one-third of the legal medical cannabis for the roughly 225,000 Canadians who have cards, has partnered with SunSelect Produce to create BC Tweed.
BC Tweed’s 1.7-million-square-foot facility on Hornby Drive in East Delta is positioned to be one of the biggest players in the Canadian recreational marijuana market now that the product is legalized.
The partnership also has 1.3 million square feet of greenhouse space in Langley.
Providing cannabis for both the medical and non-medical markets, a variety of strains will be grown and processed on site before being sent for packaging prior to delivery to a B.C. government distribution centre. From there, cannabis will be sent to government-run retail outlets as well as private stores, which could include those run by Canopy.