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New cannabis plant owner can't prescribe medicinal marijuana: CPSO restrictions

New cannabis plant owner can’t prescribe medicinal marijuana: CPSO restrictions

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Dr. Ghulam Khan, the psychiatrist who formed Fleetwood Pharmaceutical Inc. in Lindsay to eventually produce medicinal marijuana, cannot prescribe cannabis to his patients – a fact that will have no bearing on the development of the new cannabis plant, he says.

The Advocate has learned that on Sept. 14, 2017 several restrictions against Khan came into effect through the College of Physicians and Surgeons Ontario (CPSO). These included not being able to write prescriptions for cannabis, and that Khan had to “practise under the guidance of a Clinical Supervisor acceptable to the College for 12 months.”

These restrictions were put in place not because of a patient complaint, says Khan, but because of a negative review by a Royal College examiner in Ottawa in 2015, when he applied to get a specialty certificate for practicing in Canada, since he had done his basic training in the U.S.

Khan says they treat international graduates like him “differently,” noting he did his undergraduate work in Pakistan.

“It’s not a patient complaint – I’ve never had a patient complaint in 20 years,” he says.

The one year of supervision could have been stretched longer if the CPSO assessor had seen anything that should be flagged but Khan says it only lasted the minimum 12 months.

“I went through a detailed assessment and supervision for one year through the CPSO,” Khan tells the Advocate, and added “this statement is too harsh,” noting he has complained to the College.

“They are in the process of removing these restrictions…this will be done soon,” Khan adds, pointing out everything is very public, considering it’s right there on the CPSO website.

The Advocate reached out to CPSO for confirmation but Spokesperson Shae Greenfield, because of confidentiality, could only say the restrictions are still in place at this time.

Khan says this is irrelevant and will have “no effect” on his plans for the Lindsay area to produce medicinal marijuana.

Earlier he told the Advocate the plant will be up and running in two planned phases. In phase one, there will be a retrofit of the old 78,000 square foot Fleetwood plant. In the second phase, a half million square foot greenhouse will also be built. He says when both phases are fully operational it could mean between 550-600 jobs for the area.

“I would prefer if local people can come and work with us,” says Khan, for many reasons, including that it’s good for the local community and better for both the company and the employee if no one has to drive long distances, especially in winter.

The first phase of jobs will involve careful cultivation of marijuana plants and “minimal training” will be needed for a majority of these jobs.

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Roderick Benns is the publisher of The Lindsay Advocate. He is the author of 'Basic Income: How a Canadian Movement Could Change the World,' and is also Vice Chair of the Ontario Basic Income Network. An award-winning author and journalist who grew up in Lindsay, Roderick has interviewed former Prime Ministers of Canada, Senators, and Mayors across Canada. He also wrote and published a series of books for youth about Canada's Prime Ministers as teens.

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