ROBERT BARRON CITIZEN
The operators of Tilray, the medical-marijuana production facility in Nanaimo, see great potential for the company in the coming years.
Speaking at a luncheon hosted by the Duncan Cowichan Chamber of Commerce last week, Tilray CEO Greg Engel said a major societal shift in the perception of the drug is currently underway around the globe.
As the medical benefits of marijuana are becoming more widely known and accepted, he said, people are increasingly turning to it to either replace or add to their current prescription medications.
Engel said most of Tilray’s products are used to treat conditions related to chronic pain and mental health.
“Research indicates that about 30 per cent of the drugs that are being replaced by medical marijuana are opiates,” Engel said.
“We are also working with marijuana extracts, capsules, droppers and oils to give people more choices with taking the drug, and these are either in the development or production stages at this time.”
Engel said the University of B.C. is also conducting tests on the therapeutic potential of medicinal pot for people suffering from PTSD.
“There’s been a lot of work in recent years to remove the stigma that is attached to marijuana,” he said.
“The drug has been used for thousands of years, but there has been almost no research done on it until recently. The perceptions around it are changing rapidly and marijuana is now gaining greater acceptance, so we’re invested in this at the right time.”
As for specific plans for Tilray’s future, Engel said the industry’s growth is expected to be rapid but “unpredictable.”
“We’re trying to look ahead and plan for up to 18 months into the future and that’s all we can do for now because we don’t really know what’s going to happen with this industry around the globe beyond that,” he said.
“But we expect that we’ll soon be thinking on expanding our operations and we’ll be looking at other locations on the Island, including the Cowichan Valley.”
For more information on Tilray, see their website: https://www.tilray.ca/