It has been a busy Spring at Paradise Seeds. We have many exciting projects going on at the moment, working with partners all over Europe, North and South America. What is interesting for us is how the scene is evolving at the moment.
That’s why we were super excited to be at the 2014 Champs Canada Expo in Toronto in The Metro Toronto Convention Centre (May 23-25th) with our stand. For us, attending the expo was a chance to see what is happening in Canada, and of course to introduce the good people of The Great White North to another taste of Paradise!
Over the past four years we have done very well in the Toronto based Cannabis Cup competition – with three first places and one-second place. This year we were excited to win in the ‘extracts’ category (concentrated resin form, also known as ‘dabs’) with our Wappa strain. Extracts have become increasingly popular, providing the medicinal benefits thanks to a measured dose of cannabinoids that is delivered with minimal smoke inhalation.
Medical Quality. CBD rich
In Canada, we were also showcasing our two new medical quality strains, Durga Mata II and Nebula ll. Both strains had their debut in Barcelona (at Spannabis) in March, where the test results were very encouraging. We have been working with the CBD Crew to develop varieties that have enhanced medical properties, and both Durga Mata II and Nebula II tested at a ratio of 25% more THC than CBD.
What do our new Paradise Seeds strains mean for medical patients? They mean enhanced relaxation without the psychoactive effects (getting high). Medical quality strains have proven benefits, which include:
• Anti inflammatory – providing relief from arthritis, muscle sprains and period pains
• Anti nausea – acting as an alternative to antiemetic medications, with benefits for cancer patients
• Anticonvulsant – reducing epileptic seizures and neuropathic pain.
• Pain relief – offering respite and management for chronic pain (from muscular to nerve induced)
• Anxiety relief – bringing decreased levels of anxiety
Medical Cannabis in Canada
Following a change in the law earlier this year (the Marihuana for Medical Purposes Regulations), medical cannabis has become a hot topic of conversation in Canada. Cannabis is not legal in the country, although it has been regulated by the Government since 2001, with licenses issued for medical cultivation. There are approximately 40,000 registered medical cannabis users in Canada.
Before the law change in April, medical patients (or a designated grower cultivating on behalf of medical patients) could legally grow approximately five plants, so long as they had a Licence to Produce Marihuana issued by the Government health department (Health Canada).
However, as a result of the law change, the Government has stopped issuing licenses to small scale producers. Instead, it is granting licenses to larger commercial growers, with the aim of providing a regulated supply of medical grade marijuana. Under the new regulations, patients will be restricted to carrying 150 grams of dried cannabis, while those who have not confirmed they have destroyed their (previously licensed) crops will face police action.
The law change has proved controversial. The Government claims that the new system will guarantee supply, eliminating issues such as safety concerns with homegrown operations (such as fire risks and health dangers from contaminated produce) and the potential for exploitation by criminals.
According to Canadian news source, CTV, the Government supports this decision by pointing to the fact that in 2001 there were 100 people with licenses to possess and grow medical marijuana - by 2014, that figure was 37,000. The Government estimates that translates to 3.5 million plants.
However, medical users have argued that the new Marijuana for Medical Purposes Regulations will mean their medical cannabis will cost more, and their freedom of choice (when it comes to strains) will be less. There are also concerns that the limited number of official commercial growers will lead to problems with supply.
Days before the new regulations became law in April, a dramatic challenge to the new regulations by medical users resulted in Federal Court ruling. Judge Michael Manson ruled that existing license holders (ie medical patients) could continue to grow cannabis despite the change in the law. While the government is determined to continue with its new policy, the situation in Canada, at present, is one of some confusion.