UPDATE: Due to some technical difficulties in getting the trailer together, the mobile cannabis clinic has been postponed. Check the Citizen in the upcoming weeks for further details.
UPDATE: This story has been modified to remove the Lift Resource Centre as the site of the mobile clinic.
A mobile cannabis clinic will be visiting Duncan on Tuesday, June 7.
The clinic, which will make stops across Western Canada and Ontario this summer, is sponsored by the Nanaimo-based Tilray, one of Canada’s largest licensed producers of medical cannabis.
Philippe Lucas, Tilray’s vice president of patient advocacy, said the first-of-its-kind road tour is on a mission to offer Canadians increased access to local physicians knowledgeable about medical cannabis.
He said educating patients about medical marijuana and how they can access it has always been one of Tilray’s priorities.
“With the mobile clinic, we can share this important information in person with Canadians across the country, and help connect patients with physicians who can address their questions and concerns,” Lucas said.
Lucas said one problem faced by many people with medical conditions that can be helped by medicinal marijuana who live in small- to medium-sized communities is they may not have a doctor nearby who is willing to give a prescription for cannabis.
He said another problem is often the expense of getting prescriptions from clinics not under the purview of the College of Physicians and Surgeons.
“In some cases, patients are paying up to $300 for a prescription,” Lucas said.
“As the use of medicinal cannabis gets more normal in our society, these types of issues will likely go away, but the mobile clinic is one way we are using to deal with them now.”
Lucas said approximately 70 per cent of Tilray’s current clients are suffering from chronic pain, as well as mental health issues like stress, anxiety and depression.
He said another use for medicinal pot is to help deal with seizure disorders, including epilepsy, Huntington’s disease and multiple sclerosis
While visiting the clinic, prospective patients will be able to discuss whether medical marijuana therapy is appropriate for them.
Approved patients will receive a referral to a prescribing physician, or a medical document enabling them to legally order medical cannabis for delivery to their home under a doctor’s supervision.
Lucas said the patients may order from any licensed medical marijuana grower; not just Tilray.
The consultations are free, and no appointments are necessary.
Lucas said the clinic will also include educators who can answer questions about medical cannabis and how it can be legally accessed in Canada.