Though Dycar Pharmaceuticals hasn’t even set up shop yet in Cranbrook, there are already plans for expansion due to Thursday’s Supreme Court of Canada ruling on medical marijuana.
In a unanimous ruling, the Supreme Court ruled against the federal government to expand the definition of medical marijuana beyond the dried form and into edible consumables.
“The prohibition of non-dried forms of medical marijuana limits liberty and security of the person in a manner that is arbitrary and hence is not in accord with the principles of fundamental justice,” said the written judgement.
Dycar Pharmaceuticals is a company that is planning to set up a medical marijuana facility in Cranbrook. Carmen Wannop, the Vice President of Sales & Marketing and Human Resources Manager, notes that the ruling opens up a new set of possibilities for the facility.
“It’s great news for the industry, a lot of people that don’t want to consume the product through smoking would prefer to eat it,” Wannop said. “So with this ruling, for us in Cranbrook, it means more jobs, we’ve already been looking in today to putting a commercial kitchen in to allow us to get into this industry and provide the clientele with it.”
While inhaling is the traditional method of using medical marijuana, the ruling now allows for use through other methods such as brewing cannabis for tea in baking.
“Now we can get into—because they ruled in favour of the extracts—we can get into making cookies, brownies, anything edible that has the product in it,” Wannop said.
“The creams and lotions, we can get into making oils…it just opens up a whole new venue and avenue for our company now.”
She adds that there are more health benefits to ingesting cannibis rather than smoking it.
The Supreme Court decision came on the heels of previous rulings that went in favour of Owen Smith, who won legal challenges in the lower courts of British Columbia.
Rona Ambrose, the federal health minister, said she was ‘outraged’ by the ruling.
“The big issue here is the message about normalization,” she said. “The message that judges, not medical experts, judges have decided something is a medicine.”
Though Dycar has plans to open a facility in Cranbrook, their application is still being processed by the RCMP and Health Canada.
“Nothing else can happen on our application until the RCMP gets back to Health Canada saying that the four members of our board have their clearances completed and that everything’s okay,” Wannop said.
“Once that’s done, then Health Canada will reopen our file, which has been put off to the side right now, and they’ll thoroughly go through the application.”
With files from the Canadian Press