Current Affairs
Malta in agreement with Canadian University for medicinal cannabis research

Malta Enterprise and the Cannabis Research Centre at McGill University have signed a collaboration agreement in the medicinal cannabis sector.

A memorandum of understanding was signed to initiate cooperation in research into the medicine. The agreement follows talks that Prime Minister Joseph Muscat held with the Canadian University when he visited Canada last September.

The university’s Research Centre Director, Carolyn Baglole, said a lot of further research is needed on cannabis, including its medicinal use and questions related to health and security and the impact of medicinal cannabis on the economy. Dr Baglole said researchers are currently studying these aspects.

“They are currently conducting clinical trials at McGill and these are ongoing right now, a variety of different medications including for cancer pain,” said Dr Baglole.

Professor Donald L Smith said that since recently many countries have accepted the use of medicinal cannabis for medical reasons, interest in its research has grown.

“We need to have a better understanding of the conditions that effect cannabinoids levels and how they can produce plants that have consistent levels and consistent profiles.”

Asked why a number of professional persons are being greatly cautious in the use of this treatment, Dr Baglole said the cannabis plant still carries a stigma because of its uses for recreational purposes.

“Its use and its associated psychoactive effects, have really dampened the enthusiasm for the rest of the potential for cannabis so if we take away the psycho tropic effects which are associated, which is one chemical in the cannabis plant, then it opens up the possibility of a whole range of medicinal applications.”

The Minister for the Economy and Investment, Chris Cardona, said the agreement with McGill University will facilitate training for the professionals working in the pharmaceutical sector as well as researchers and doctors to update themselves regarding the use of medicinal cannabis.

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