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Medical Marijuana for Canadian Injured Vets Cost Government $4.3M

The cost of providing medical marijuana to the country's injured soldiers under a Veterans Affairs program jumped to more than $4.3 million this fiscal year, an increase of 10 times what was spent last year.

And the number of ex-soldiers eligible for taxpayer-funded, prescribed pot more than quadrupled to 601 patients, according to figures released by the department.

The numbers represent a dramatic escalation, even from last fall, when former veterans minister Julian Fantino was told in a briefing note that there were 224 approved cases.

At the beginning of the last budget year there were 116 eligible veterans.


Watch: Why Canada's better at pot business than the US is

There's a place where you can buy medical marijuana without any worries, a place where the people growing marijuana wear laboratory-style "clean suits," where scientists do extensive research into potential treatments using cannabis, and where marijuana business owners can put their cash into a bank account instead of a vault.

It's Canada.

"We don't have a roadblock in regards to banking; we don't have a roadblock in terms of conflict between state and federal law," said Brendan Kennedy, president of Tilray, which runs a 60,000-square-foot, indoor marijuana facility in Nanaimo, British Columbia.


Medical Marijuana Insurance in Canada

Medical marijuana is going to cost us

And so the levee breaks.

The man to break it is called Jonathan Zaid.

A student at the University of Waterloo. An earnest, likeable young man with an almost unbelievable story to tell.

Although we always knew the person who would break the medicinal-marijuana-insurance-levee would have those qualities.

Earnest. Likable. An almost unbelievable story to tell.

Jonathan Zaid was diagnosed at the age of 14 with New Daily Persistent Headache (NDPH), a medical condition so poorly understood doctors debate everything from forms of treatment to whether it should be viewed as a syndrome or diagnosis.


LaSalle fire leads to discovery of marijuana grow-op

Montreal police are investigating after a fire ripped through a fourplex in Lasalle overnight, leading to the discovery of 40 marijuana plants in one of the units.

The fire broke out at about 1 a.m. on the first floor of the building on John F. Kennedy Street. 

Firefighters say it quickly spread to the second floor and the roof. 

Montreal police spokesman Raphael Bergeron said cannabis was found in the building.

"They discovered a plantation," Bergeron said.

One person went to hospital with burns and another man was arrested.

In all, five people were forced from the building.

Bergeron said firefighters are still trying to determine the cause of the fire. The investigation has been handed over to police. 


Medical marijuana cookie case hits Canada's high court

Turning medical marijuana into cookies, tea or oil should not be a criminal act that risks jail time, a B.C. lawyer told the Supreme Court of Canada Friday in the first ever hearing of its kind.

Kirk Tousaw appeared before the country's top court to argue the ban on cannabis derivatives, extracts and edibles like pot brownies is unconstitutional and that authorized medical marijuana patients should be free to use the drug in whatever form works best for them, not just the dried plant, which is the only medical exemption to the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act.

The federal government is appealing the dismissal by B.C. courts of drug trafficking charges against Owen Smith, a Victoria man caught baking pot cookies for members of a local compassion club.


Investing in the Marijuana Sector - SmallCap Investor Interview with Invest In MJ

Vin Maru from speaks with Joe Brunner from SmallCap Investor about the legal cannabis market, how investors can participate and the general outlook of the marijuana industry.

The interview was filmed at the PDAC 2015 Conference where Vin was invited to speak about the marijuana sector and provided strategies and opportunities for the investment community. 

Interview Topics include:


Canada: Medical marijuana law goes to Supreme Court

Canada’s high court on Friday will contemplate whether it’s a constitutional right to munch cookies, brownies and oils laced with medical marijuana.

Federal regulations restrict authorized users of physician-prescribed cannabis to consuming only dried marijuana plants. Brewing pot in tea, baking it into a brownie or any form of consumption other than smoking the dried plant buds can trigger criminal trafficking and narcotics possession charges under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act.

The question before the Supreme Court of Canada, in its first foray into the medical marijuana debate, is whether the Health Canada regulation violated medical marijuana users’ constitutional right to life, liberty and safety.


PEI medical marijuana users involved in privacy complaints

After a privacy breach that affected thousands of people enrolled in the medical marijuana program, including some from P.E.I., a Halifax law firm wants to launch a class-action lawsuit against the federal government.              

Canada's privacy commissioner ruled earlier this week that Health Canada violated privacy rules in 2013 when it mailed out information to more than 40,000 people enrolled in the medical marijuana program.

The mailouts, which explained changes that were coming to the program, revealed the recipients were receiving medical marijuana.              

Health Canada says it was an administrative error and it's put measures in place to make sure it doesn't happen again.              


The 4 Essentials of Legendary Customer Service

Attention, Canadian business operators: the customer service bar has just been raised. As Seattle-based department store chain Nordstrom embarks on its Canadian expansion—it opened its second location in March, in Ottawa—retail experts say businesses here could learn a lot from its gobsmackingly extraordinary service.

“Nordstrom just goes above and beyond in a way that customers never forget,” says Robert Kozinets, who heads the global retail management specialization at the Schulich School of Business.


Judge denies Kamloops man's plea to have seized marijuana plants returned

KAMLOOPS - A provincial court judge has denied a Kamloops man's application to be reunited with 10 medical marijuana plants that were seized by RCMP last summer.

Judge Roy Dickey says he sympathizes with Henry Rhode's plight, but he was breaking the law by having expired licenses and not growing at an approved site.

Dickey criticizes what he calls a "bureaucratic bungle" created by the Conservative government and Health Canada when the country's medical marijuana rules were changed.

He says a new law requiring those with permits to grow medical pot to instead purchase from an approved supplier has left people like Rhode "out to dry."


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