A new medical marijuana production facility is trying to prove to Canadian health officials that prescription pot does work for patients with chronic illness.

The Ottawa-based commercial growing company Vida Cannabis has yet to be approved for selling, but already they are lining up some of the country’s top horticulturists, doctors, scientists and security experts to run their Nova Scotia grow facility.

The idea behind the business is a research-based approach to treating patients with ailments like multiple sclerosis, epilepsy and cancer, while also conducting scientific research on the drug and how it works against certain illnesses.

“Patients are trying to understand and need education on which strains are best for their particular ailment,” said Vida CEO Greg Wilson. “Vida again will be a leader in providing that type of clarity so that they can make the most informed decision as to what strain is best.”

Since Health Canada changed its medical marijuana program to make doctors the gatekeepers of pot prescriptions, the College of Physicians and Surgeons have been “significantly concerned”, as doctors have little data to rely on when prescribing the plant.

“What they are looking for is education, they are looking for efficacy,” added Wilson. “They are looking for research-based clinical studies that support medical marijuana and its use for various ailments.”

The company has also teamed up with a Florida-based cannabis producer AltMed to collaborate on clinical research and quality assurance.

“Quality will win. By quality, I mean purity, consistency and effectiveness,” said Wilson. “This is a medicine and we are taking a pharmaceutical grade approach to producing this medicine.”

The company is still in the process of getting its 315,000 square foot facility in Stellarton, N.S. approved. Wilson couldn’t give a time frame for when they could be serving patients.

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