A politician, a cop and a pharmacist walk into a pot farm …

It’s no joke: Ex-health minister George Smitherman, a retired deputy chief and a Markham druggist are applying to open a medical marijuana facility in Durham Region.

Former Ontario health minister George Smitherman, pictured at a Queen's Park hearing in 2013, has turned to a new enterprise: medical marijuana.

RENE JOHNSTON / TORONTO STAR FILE PHOTO

Former Ontario health minister George Smitherman, pictured at a Queen’s Park hearing in 2013, has turned to a new enterprise: medical marijuana.

By:  News reporter, Published on Fri Apr 18 2014

The province’s former Liberal health minister, George Smitherman, is getting into the pot game with a Markham pharmacist and a former deputy chief of the Toronto police.

The trio — a veritable dream team in the medical marijuana industry — secured a property in Durham Region with about 16,000 square feet of serviceable indoor growing space, said Smitherman, and is in the midst of preparing an application. The township of Uxbridge recently passed a motion granting them a “no objection” letter to accompany their application to Health Canada.

“I think that in my time as minister of health I did try to advance a conversation within the Ontario Medical Association and especially within the doctors who focus on pain,” said Smitherman. “I view medical marijuana as an effective alternative for many people, and I think that the science on this will grow and grow and grow.”

Each member of the trio brings skills that will help with the application process, which includes providing a round-the-clock security plan and undergoing regular testing like that at a regular drug production facility.

Smitherman, the lifelong politician who served as Ontario’s minister of health and long-term care from 2003 to 2008, will help the group work with consultants to navigate Health Canada’s new medical marijuana legislation, which licenses businesses to grow marijuana to sell to users who have a prescription.

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Article source OpEd.ca