B.C. man’s pot plan creating quite a buzz

October 4, 2010Leave a reply

TORONTO — A licensed B.C. pot grower was in Toronto yesterday trying to take a bite out of Health Canada’s monopoly on medicinal marijuana.

Sam Mellace, 56, formerly of Toronto, is allowed to grow 292 plants, which he does in a Racle Valley, B.C. “industrial-style” operation that yields about seven kilos of marijuana every four to six weeks.

Mellace is seeking permission to compete with Health Canada to grow and distribute “high grade” pot to users across Canada with doctors’ prescriptions.

“I have the largest medical marijuana licence in Canada,” Mellace said of the 60 grams of pot he’s legally entitled to daily. “I am hoping to become Canada’s first private-sector provider of medicinal marijuana.”

Licensed to possess two kilos of pot “anywhere in Canada,” his company New Age Medical Solutions Inc., plans to open a chain of stores providing pot-derived remedies, including biscuits, creams and cough medicines.

Mellace has created a THC-free marijuana skin cream, after-chemotherapy drink and a butter that is pending approval for sale from Ottawa.

“We are trying to offer the government a proper dispensing method,” he said. “We want to give them some competition.”

He was at York University yesterday to meet with Alan Young, an Osgoode Hall law prof, as part of a plan to grow and sell the drug directly to prescription holders.

The Federal Court of Canada recently ruled the government cannot rely solely on the monopoly it created for the distribution of medicinal marijuana, Young said.

“At this time we are in discussions with Health Canada,” Young said. “I represent sick people who need the drugs because a monopoly doesn’t work.”

The growing of marijuana won’t attract organized crime, he said.

“By going ahead and seeking authorization from Health Canada we are preventing organized crime and black-market activity,” Young said.

Growers in Ontario, B.C., Manitoba and elsewhere currently provide marijuana directly to medical users.

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