Nanaimo-based medical marijuana producer Tilray has left the Canadian Medical Cannabis Industry Association to start a new industry association and ethics code for medical cannabis producers in Canada.
Tilray made the announcement in a press release issued Tuesday, saying the decision was made following months of unsuccessfully trying to get consensus from the association on a code of ethics that would govern Canada’s medical marijuana industry.
Tilray will spearhead creation of the Canadian Medical Cannabis Council, an industry group committed to establishing standards of integrity, safety, quality, access, security and research designed to serve patients’ best interests, which will be based in Toronto.
The press release alleges some licensed producers currently pay kickbacks to physicians for issuing medical documents or for referring patients, which is prohibited by provincial colleges of physicians.
Greg Engel, Tilray chief executive officer, said in the press release that patients are best served when treatment choices are made without financial influence or incentive. He said Tilray has never and will never compensate a physician for a referral or for writing a prescription for medical cannabis.
Philippe Lucas, Tilray’s vice-president of patient research and services, will serve as interim executive director, while the group searches for an independent executive director.