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Canada’s ‘Foremost’ Cannabis Academic: National Body Needed For Pot Research

Canada’s ‘Foremost’ Cannabis Academic: National Body Needed For Pot Research

Dina Al-Shibeeb
Dr. Ware says there needs to be a national body for cannabis research in Canada. (Image via

Dr. Mark Ware says a national body will be needed to keep marijuana research standardized across Canada

Mark Ware, dubbed as Canada’s “foremost” cannabis academic, told The Globe and Mail newspaper in an interview Thursday that a national body researching marijuana’s benefits and dangers is required.

Ware, who is a McGill pain research and vice-chair of last year’s federal panel on cannabis legalization, said the national body is needed to be able to organize and prioritize the various issues related to cannabis, and most importantly to avoid overlapping in research.

“It would be a shame if it turns out there are five labs across the country all working on the same thing,” Dr. Ware cautioned. “We have limited personnel, limited expertise, limited funding,” he lamented.

Dr. Ware, who has been part of a consortium of cannabis researchers that have met periodically over the past few years, said: “What’s missing is a kind of connector.”

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This file photo taken on December 5, 2016 shows Tweed employee Ryan Harris trims plants inside the Flowering Room with medicinal marijuana at Tweed INC. in Smith Falls, Ontario. (Image via AFP)

The expert said a well-funded, independent organization for cannabis research will set the tone for a standard unit of measurement of the drug.

“There is not really a dose: One gram of 10-per-cent THC is different if you vape it or smoke it or use it in an oil – there’s still another level that we need to get to,” he said. “This is not just a Canadian issue, this is a global question.”

So far, Ottawa is hurrying up with funding for independent research on marijuana six months before making the drug legal.

The Globe and Mail said cannabis research is being funded by the federal government through grants awarded by three councils. Also, charities such as The Arthritis Society and companies such as the licensed medical growers and Shopper’s Drug Mart are funneling money into research.

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