Former British Columbia Health Minister Terry Lake has jumped from politics to the medical marijuana industry.
Lake, who says he will continue to live in Kamloops, B.C., has accepted the post of vice-president of corporate social responsibility with Quebec-based Hydropothecary.
The 60-year-old veterinarian, who was health minister from 2013 until he left politics earlier this year, said protecting young people is his biggest priority as the federal government moves to legalize marijuana in 2018.
He said cannabis can have a negative impact on the developing brain and he’s concerned that many young people are using marijuana of unknown quality and with undetermined levels of THC, the main mind-altering ingredient in pot.
“One of the things that the federal government has emphasized is maintaining the health particularly of young canadians as we move to a legalized cannabis recreational market. And so my job is to make sure that this is built into the DNA of the Hydropothocary corporation,” Lake told CFJC TV.
Lake said legalization will not only set a minimum age for marijuana use, but it will also ensure a higher quality of the drug.
He believes medical marijuana has the potential to displace other medications like opioids.
“I think there is a big change in attitude, even among conservative thinkers, because the war on drugs obviously hasn’t worked. We know there’s a growing body of evidence to support the use of cannabis for medical purposes. Whether it’s children with epilepsy, or treating the symptoms of diseases like Parkinson’s or MS, and now growing evidence about its use for PTSD,” Lake added.
Hydropothecary’s website said the company, incorporated in 2013, combines artisanal growing techniques and quality production with the highest levels of customer service, privacy and satisfaction.
The company saids it is a licensed producer and distributor of medical marijuana under Health Canada regulations.