The Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre in Toronto is not only one of the most prominent and highest-ranked hospitals in Canada but also the first that, as part of a pioneering international initiative, will soon provide patients with medical cannabis-derived products under a doctor’s prescription and the supervision of specialized and trained personnel specifically for this purpose. Medical cannabis products will be supplied on site, through the hospital's cancer center pharmacy, the Edmond Odette Cancer Center, and in partnership with Avicanna Inc., a leading biotech company in the research and development of cannabinoid-based products. The hospital will make available to patients some alternative treatment options from the RHO Phyto line developed by Avicanna. This range of medicinal products made from high quality plant-based cannabinoids has been scientifically developed and subject to the strictest quality controls and analysis.
As explained by the hospital officials, the healthcare team priority in this program is to guarantee the safety of the patient at all times and ensure access to plant-based cannabinoid products of the highest quality, carrying out a control of the dosage and monitoring of the symptoms and effects on the treatments, without losing sight of the information with regard to risks provided to patients at all times, as well as the specific training the medical staff has received.
Current Legislation in Canada allows hospital centers with the appropriate infrastructure to store and dispense medical cannabis products. Therefore, this initiative complies with the national legal framework and represents a significant advance in the field of cannabinoid-based medicine.
From Avicanna they express their satisfaction with this agreement, which represents an endorsement of the quality of their products before the medical community. They point out the importance of close collaboration with the Sunnybrook team and with the patient education, information and support programs that are a critical part of this project.
Morover, it is in March of this year that the Avicanna company reached a deal with NBA star Al Harrington to license Viola brand, in order to create specific formulations for sale in Canada, across medical and consumer retail channels, thus becoming the first black-owned multinational cannabis brand in the world.
According to Aras Azadian, CEO of Avicanna, after two years of negotiation, this business partnership is highly significant since the two companies involved are run by minorities.
"We are proud to be supporting Al Harrington’s vision and the Viola brand with its growth and expansion into Canada," said Azadian in an interview. "This is a unique opportunity to provide not only access to a premium cannabis brand, but also to a humanist philosophy that our diverse community in Canada can relate to".
Despite the fact that many studies have already demonstrated the health benefits of the plant and its derivatives, the majority of health centers are still reluctant to prescribe cannabis-based medicines. This pioneering experience could represent a great step forward towards the acceptance and trust among the world medical community in cannabinoid-based products as an effective treatment option that can definitely improve the patients’ quality of life.