Medicinal Cannabis Union First of Its Kind in Canada

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Union for medicinal cannabis growers and employees established.

Following changes to Canada's medical marijuana program, a union for medicinal cannabis growers and employees has been been formed and is already growing.

Tony Sergi, president of the newly-formed Medical Cannabis Employees Union Local 1 (MCEU 1), which covers the whole province of Ontario, says that the union's mandate includes providing business support, health and safety standards, education, training, and health benefits to its members.

“We're 250 – 300 strong as of today and this is just direct contact with people in the industry. Our goal is to have at least 7000 members by the end of 2013,” said Sergi.

According to Sergi, there are over 70,000 patients, direct growers, and licensed holders for medicinal cannabis in Ontario.

Medical marijuana is gaining increasing acceptance in North America as a natural and effective complementary remedy in alleviating symptoms of illness and pain.

According to Sergi, MCEU 1, in addition to educating and promoting factual information regarding medical marijuana, provides advocacy and support for its members and encourages open dialogue on safety standards, cultivation, regulations, and operations.

Sergi refers to preparations for changes in the industry following the implementation earlier this year of Canada's new medical cannabis law, the Marihuana for Medical Purposes Regulations (MMPR). The new law will allow independent commercial growers to sell marijuana to authorized individuals for medicinal use. Canada's current law, the Marihuana Medical Access Regulations (MMAR), puts a limit on who can produce and supply medicinal cannabis. Currently, Health Canada is the sole authority on selling medicinal cannabis. The government, however, allows authorized users to grow the plants themselves or have someone grow it for them subject to strict regulations including non-commercial growing.

MCEU 1 represents growers, patients, manufacturers, and suppliers, of medicinal cannabis and helps them comply with Health Canada’s regulations and lobbies on their behalf to ensure such regulations are fairly applied. Its official launch is tomorrow, May 2, at Bellvue Manor at 8083 Jane St, in Vaughan, Ontario.

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