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Doctor to outline use of medical cannabis




A cannabis researcher and doctor will outline the use of medical cannabis to medical professionals in Bermuda next week.

Mark Ware, the chief medical officer at Canadian medical cannabis grower Canopy Growth, said he planned to give a balanced presentation on the benefits and potential harm of medical cannabis.

Dr Ware said: “As with any other drug, it is a drug with potential harm, but is also a drug with potential benefits.”

He said people often had one of two perceptions about cannabis — that it is harmful or that it is a life-saving cure-all.

But Dr Ware said neither of the views was accurate and he aimed to give a realistic assessment in an attempt to educate and stimulate interest in the drug's medical properties.

Dr Ware, who has an international reputation in the field, said “cannabis is experiencing a revival around the world”.

He explained that some countries have growing capabilities and those that do not could contribute to the industry through clinical research.

Dr Ware said small countries like Bermuda could play a role in the industry, but that would be for the Government to decide.

Dr Ware will talk about research at Spectrum Cannabis, Canopy Growth's global medical cannabis brand.

The associate professor in family medicine and anaesthesia at McGill University in Montreal will also review cannabis in pain management and sleep and anxiety problems and highlight the latest evidence for cannabis based medicine.

Dr Ware's visit to the island came after David Burt, the Premier, revealed that cannabis cultivation for medical reasons would be legalised.

Mr Burt announced last October that the first set of licences would be issued this year.

Dr Ware, who studied medicine in Jamaica, said he became interested in medical cannabis when he worked at a clinic treating sickle cell anaemia in the country in the 1990s.

The pain specialist has since carried out research on medical cannabis and was appointed chief medical officer of Canopy Growth last year.

Dr Ware is the director of clinical research of the Alan Edwards Pain Management Unit at the McGill University Health Centre, and executive director of the non-profit Canadian Consortium for the Investigation of Cannabinoids.

He also practices pain medicine at the McGill University Health Centre and has acted as an adviser on medical cannabis policy to the Canadian Government since 2001.

He was vice-chairman of the Federal Task Force on the legalisation and regulation of cannabis in Canada in 2016.

Canopy Growth is a cannabis and hemp company that produces cannabis products in dried, oil and Softgel capsule forms.

The event will be at the Bermuda Underwater Exploration Institute on Monday from 7.30pm to 9pm. Tickets cost $20 and all proceeds will go to Agape House, the island's hospice. To register, e-mail or phone 292-7219.

Potential benefits: Mark Ware, chief medical officer at medical cannabis grower Canopy Growth (Photograph contributed)




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Published February 15, 2019 at 7:00 am (Updated February 15, 2019 at 1:19 pm)

Doctor to outline use of medical cannabis

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