Shares of marijuana company Canopy Growth saw big gains after announcing that its Spectrum Cannabis unit has partnered up with Ontario Long Term Care Association (OLTCA).
The two have joined forces for a pilot that will access the use of medical marijuana in treating cognitive function as well as pain in seniors.
OLTCA and Canopy will recruit a group of long-term care homes to perform the study while evaluating quality of life outcomes, caregiver stress and the economic benefits of cannabis adoption. The six-month long study will be conducted at some of Ontario’s 630 long-term care homes.
“There is clearly an interest in the long-term care space to explore medical cannabis as an alternative to traditional medications for pain and degenerative cognitive function,” said Canopy co-Chief Executive Mark Zekulin.
“The pilot study we’ve announced today is the first step in developing an evidence-based, best practice approach to medical cannabis that will result in consistent care for thousands of seniors and ultimately improve quality of life and outcomes in long-term care homes.”
“Medical cannabis is currently prescribed for residents as appropriate, but it’s still an emerging area,” remarked Candace Chartier , CEO, Ontario Long Term Care Association. “Through this partnership and pilot study, we hope to provide more clarity to long-term care clinicians and frontline staff about the use of medical cannabis for residents.”
According to Canopy’s press release, ” Key components of the four phase program include: the initial recruiting of long-term care homes; identifying physicians to create a care pathway for the use of medical cannabis in LTC; providing education tools for front line staff and clinicians delivering care to residents; evaluating quality of life, clinical outcomes, caregiver stress and the economic and humanistic benefit of cannabis adoption for residents and ultimately, presenting the findings of the study. This will be one of the world’s first and largest medical cannabis pilot programs in the long-term care space and will register as many as 500 residents and follow them over the course of care.”
Spectrum Cannabis had recently been named the preferred education partner and supplier of choice of medical cannabis for Centric Health and the seniors that it serves both in long-term care and retirement residences, as well as seniors living in the community.
It was in September that Centric Health Corporation announced that had entered into multi-year supply and service agreements with Canopy Growth Corporation for the provision of medical cannabis.
Per that press release, “Spectrum Cannabis and Centric Health will work collaboratively to educate Centric Health’s clinical pharmacists, as well as other healthcare partners, residents and seniors and their families, on the benefits and potential applications of medical cannabis.”
“We believe that our partnership with Centric Health will help reduce many of the existing gaps in the continuing care space by having a trusted partner at our side who can provide education, assist in policy development and, most importantly, provide clinical pharmacist oversight of medical cannabis through medication management,” said Mark Zekulin.
“The continuing care space is comprised of a patient population that can greatly benefit from the therapeutic effects of medical cannabis.”