SAIT’s going green

(Photo by Katerina Masyk/SAIT)

(Photo by Katerina Masyk/SAIT)

SAIT students can now smoke medicinal marijuana on campus, provided they show their medical card.

“We can accommodate students who require the use of prescribed marijuana for medical purposes. This is done on a case-by-case basis, as every student and their needs are individual,” said Chris Gerritsen, SAIT’s media spokesman.

Changes to the Alberta Health Services Tobacco and Smoke-Free Environments policy will allow students to use medicinal marijuana and follow the standard laws set in place for smoking cigarettes.

“We encourage those students to speak with their instructors or campus security directly to begin that dialogue, because it’s important to discuss the situation ahead of time, so those accommodations can be made,” said Gerritsen.

Cannabis, for non-medical purposes, remains illegal in Canada, until legalization and new rules are set in place by the federal government.

Cannabis is still listed as a “Schedule Two” drug by the federally mandated Control Drugs and Substances Act, outside of medical marijuana.

The changes to the Cannabis for Medical Regulations act came into effect in August 2016, allowing Canadians who have been medically approved, to have access to marijuana for medicinal purposes.

“Everybody’s so concerned about what’s going to happen when we legalize [cannabis], but it’s already here,” said Stan Swiatek, owner of Sundial Growers, a medical marijuana facility.

Those seeking medical marijuana can seek approval from health care practitioners, allowing them the opportunity to purchase safe and quality-controlled pot from Health Canada-approved licensed producers.

Alberta currently has three approved licensed producers: Acreage Pharms Ltd., Aurora Cannabis Enterprises Inc. and Sundial Growers Inc.

“Whatever regulations you make doesn’t take away from the number of consumers out there. Legalization is about getting control over something that we have not been able to control,” said Swiatek.

Sundial has spent more than $14 million to launch their greenhouse facility in Airdrie in an effort to meet the strict regulations put in place by Health Canada for producing medical marijuana.

Swiatek said that he would describe the growing process as one that is as strict as preparing other pharmaceuticals.

Sundial grows four strains of medicinal marijuana, which are blends of Sativa and Indica strains that are designed to serve medical needs.

“Virtually we are all organic, any pesticides we do use are organic. The restrictions in here [Sundial] are all around and ensure that the product is safe,” said Swiatek.

Sundial is required to meet stringent Health Canada standards to ensure the quality of their product results in organic marijuana that is safe to consume.

To find out if one is able to qualify to become a registered medical marijuana patient, they can visit several clinics in Calgary such as, Natural Health Services, Harvest Medicine or the 420 Clinic, all of whom can provide prescriptions to those who qualify.

“Acceptance [of medical marijuana] is already happening with doctors’ acceptance, testimonies and patients. There’s no denying the health benefits.

“It’s coming from a massive scale that there is a benefit,” said Swiatek.

Medical marijuana has been prescribed and proven to be helpful for a number of conditions that include anxiety, depression, insomnia, nausea, arthritis, epilepsy, glaucoma, lupus, HIV, post-traumatic stress disorder, bipolar disorder, chronic pain, multiple sclerosis and stress.

Based on regulations put forth by the province, patients can order up to 150 grams at a time, which is considered a 30-day supply, and request whatever amount is prescribed by their doctor per month, through separate orders.

Swiatek said that the industry is continuing to grow, and a new Sundial facility has broken ground in Olds, Alta. to match the growing demand for medicinal cannabis.

“There is legitimate proof [from physicians, scientists and patients] on a massive scale that there is a benefit,” said Swiatek.



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