File photo

Health Canada approval expected to take time for Red Deer marijuana facility

MedCan Solutions Inc.

The company that wants to run a medical marijuana research facility in a Red Deer business park is waiting to see what regulatory changes may result from federal legislation to legalize recreational marijuana.

Last September city council voted in favour of allowing MedCan Solutions Inc. to develop its facility in a 35,000-square-foot vacant building in West QE2 Business Park.

Wendy Konschuk, co-founder and director of MedCan, said her company is now working with Health Canada on the first stage of approval which is security clearance.

She said security clearance has taken as long as two years to complete for some licensed producers, so it’s unknown how long it will take for MedCan.

“We have crossed all the t’s and dotted all the i’s so we’re confident it will go through smoothly. We’re excited about it. We’re confident,” Konschuk said.

Renovations to the building have not yet started.

Legalization legislation is expected to be introduced by the Trudeau government in April with the intention of legalizing marijuana by July 1, 2018.

“It’s always positive to hear that they’re willing to introduce a bill,” Konschuk said.

But people are still waiting to see the final result, she said.

“I think there’s been some disappointments over the last couple of years with the Liberal government, but we’re excited to see the movement for sure. We hope that our prime minister stays true to his promise and gets this on the table sooner rather than later.”

She expects amendments to the legislation will mean changes to the regulatory process for producers. Whether MedCan

expands its focus to include recreational marijuana will also depend on the regulations.

“For now we’re mostly focusing on research in this facility. We’ll be in production for medical marijuana for now. That’s all I can really say at this point without knowing how it goes forward.”

MedCan is a member of Alberta Cannabis Stakeholders Group which met for the first time last fall in preparation for when the province starts work on legislation to address distribution and other rules for marijuana like impaired driving laws.

Konschuk said there’s been a positive shift in the conversation around medical marijuana in recent years with more seniors finding relief from ailments.

To learn more she recommended people check out MedCan Solutions Inc. on Facebook.

Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month