Tweed President Wants to Reset “Adversarial Relationship” With Cannabis Community

In a Globe and Mail commentary piece, Tweed president Mark Zekulin said that he wants a fresh start to ease the division between licensed producers and the cannabis community.

“We firmly believe that all cannabis production and sale for commercial purposes should be strictly controlled and highly regulated,” Zekulin said. “But this has manifested itself into a far too adversarial relationship with the founding cannabis community, something we must reset if we are to ensure a smart, progressive and open dialogue on cannabis policy.”

Zekulin said he respects, what he called, early cannabis advocates that have been in the industry since the beginning but that Health Canada needs to present all stakeholders with clear guidelines.

“Health Canada’s licensed producers, having invested millions of dollars in state-of-the-art growing and production facilities, sit in disbelief as new illegal storefronts pop up to sell cannabis on Main Street with apparent impunity,” Zekulin wrote. “Pharmacists, who for years wanted nothing to do with medical cannabis, have also now seen the light and view themselves as the only rightful gatekeepers to medical cannabis.”

Zekulin said it’s time that the government ended confusion for everyone involved in the industry and create a uniform system for cannabis, something that doesn’t look likely to completely happen until 2017, when health minister Jane Philpott said the Liberals will introduce legalization legislation.

“There may well be a role for all of us – pharmacists, early cannabis activists and companies like Tweed that have invested tens of millions of dollars in cannabis research, clinical trials and production and distribution facilities,” Zekulin wrote.