Medicinal marijuana referral clinic to open in Red Deer this month

Local Compass Cannabis Clinic to open by Nov. 30

Another cannabis education and referral clinic is about to set up shop in Red Deer.

Compass Cannabis Clinic is a privately-owned company based out of Kelowna, B.C. It’s planning to open seven outlets in British Columbia and Alberta — from Dawson Creek to Calgary — by the end of January, with the first clinic opening in downtown Red Deer by Nov. 30.

This is at least the third such service to put out a shingle in Red Deer.

Integrated Alternative Health Services, which also offers doctor referrals and education, was opened by Keith Shingleton and Angela Reeves eight months ago as an in-home service for Central Albertans.

Central Alberta Medical Marijuana Clinic also opened in Red Deer in October. The clinic operates within the Clearview Medical and Walk-in Clinic at 125-47 Clearview Market Way.

The Compass Cannabis Clinic will have no cannabis on site at 4418 50 Ave. But a doctor will be available to assess patients. If they are found to benefit from cannabis treatment, a prescription will be written, and they will be referred to legal medicinal marijuana suppliers, said Diana Pagourov, marketing manager for the Compass Cannabis Clinic.

The clinic’s doctor will also answer questions — including which is the best form of medicinal marijuana to take for various health conditions.

Pagourov said medicinal cannabis isn’t just smoked, but can be taken as pills or an oil. Depending on patient needs, an extract can be created to contain only the plant’s pain-relieving compounds, not mind-altering chemicals.

“My mom has arthritis and uses (cannabis) oil instead of painkillers,” she added. While there’s no ‘high’ obtained from this kind of treatment, people with other kinds of conditions, such as cancer or eating disorders, might find more relief from consumption of the whole plant, not just the extract.

Besides providing access to doctors and education, Compass clinics can help determine eligibility for the Health Canada ACMPR (Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations) program. Compass president, David Martyn, said Red Deer has seen strong demand for access to the program that provides patients with alternatives to opioids.

“Beyond the health benefits, our locations are providing local jobs and stimulating the economy,” he added. But Pagourov did not have information about how many jobs will be created in Red Deer.

For further information about Compass, please visit www.compasscannabis.ca. For further information about Integrated Alternative Health Services, please visit iahs.ca.



lmichelin@reddeeradvocate.com

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