Upcoming Legalization and Growing Cannabis in Canada
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Partnering with Atlas Biotechnologies
BY JIM HOLE
When we were first approached by various cannabis start-up companies about assisting them with production, I must admit that it caused some very frank discussions amongst family members and friends.
We had many conversations around the dinner table about marijuana when my brother and I were growing up. Mom was adamant that cannabis use should be decriminalized and she believed that no one should be imprisoned for using it.
At that time, she wasn’t aware of the many medicinal uses of cannabis because there was precious little clinical research back then on cannabis-derived products. Had Mom been aware of how cannabis could change people’s lives for the better, I know that she would have been one of its strongest advocates.
That said, assisting with the cultivation of a plant that has been so completely vilified by some—while being wholeheartedly embraced by others—is a first for our family. Let’s face it, cannabis isn’t a canna lily, and providing expertise on the growing requirements of a plant that has put many people behind bars is not something that I, nor the rest of my family, have taken lightly.
But from my perspective, the complex relationship cannabis has with humans makes it the most fascinating plant in the world.
Having studied plants pretty much all my life—from a kid growing up on our family’s vegetable farm to completing a degree in plant science at university—I’ve never been so excited about exploring the medical science of any plant like I have with cannabis.
What has surprised me most about cannabis is how many people have felt comfortable sharing their personal stories about cannabis for medicinal reasons. It seems that everyone knows someone who has benefited from cannabis. Alleviation of anxiety, PTSD, epilepsy, and pain are just some of the success stories that I have heard from medicinal users of cannabis.
And yes, of course, there are some cannabis strains that contain psychoactive compounds—THC being the most familiar. Not surprisingly, some people choose to use it recreationally which I believe is their prerogative. Will THC eventually rival the other psychoactive compound ethanol that is in beer, wine, and hard liquor? Probably not, but time will tell.
Over the next number of months, Atlas Biotechnologies and Hole's hope to team-up with post-secondary institutions to research and further explore the world of medicinal cannabis. Recreational cannabis legalization looks to be inevitable in Canada this year and production of high-quality, safe product requires a team of experts to ensure that those who choose to consume cannabis are confident in the product they are buying. I am excited to bring my expertise in plant production to the table to achieve that goal.