Washington state’s new marijuana laws took effect on Tuesday, making recreational marijuana legal, and Tilray’s VP of Patient Research and Services says he’s keen to see the impact.
Philippe Lucas has been researching the effect of using cannabis to treat addictions and replace other more harmful drugs, known as the “cannabis substitution effect”. Lucas says, given the choice, he anticipates some people will swap alcohol and illicit drugs for cannabis.
Lucas says the net impact on public health of allowing the recreational use of marijuana should be positive. He says that should appeal to the Canadian government and offer a strong argument for making cannabis, medicinal or otherwise, more readily available.
Lucas says another measurable spin-off benefit may include a drop in emergency room visit related to alcohol. And while he says there’s no way to do a proper before and after comparison, he says it’ll certainly be interesting to monitor.
Along with his personal research into the cannabis substitution effect, Lucas says Tilray has an active three-tiered research strategy, which includes conducting extensive research into the cannabis plant itself. He says they’ll also be doing more patient surveys. Lucas says Tilray also plans to initiate or sponsor clinical trials to look at the use of cannabis on specific applications, with the goal of developing cannabis-based medications into pharmaceutical products to make them more readily available.