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E122 - A Survey to Change the World

“Be the change you want to see in the world.” 

Apparently, that isn’t really a Mahatma Gandhi quote. But it is a great sentiment. How we are teaching people about cannabis isn't great or sometimes it isn't happening at all. But, you can be part of the change and help shape the future!  Listen to Lisa Bishop PharmD, a Professor and Pharmacist at School of Pharmacy, Memorial University of Newfoundland, and Daniel Bear PhD, is the Director, Humber College Centre for Social Innovation, a Drugs Policy Researcher, and a Cannabis Policy Consultant, discuss a survey their team has developed. Along with their team, they’ve actually developed two surveys. And you really need to take at least one. Are you over 18 and have used or thought of using cannabis? They have a survey for you. Are you a pharmacist? They have a survey for you. Why should you take one of their surveys? Because they are going to use the info from these surveys to help pharmacists do a better job of teaching people about cannabis!

FYI - the actual quote is:

“We but mirror the world. All the tendencies present in the outer world are to be found in the world of our body. If we could change ourselves, the tendencies in the world would also change. As a man changes his own nature, so does the attitude of the world change towards him. This is the divine mystery supreme. A wonderful thing it is and the source of our happiness. We need not wait to see what others do.” – Mahatma Gandhi

Sunday, 07 April 2024 14:38

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Episode Transcript

Trevor: Kirk we are back.

Kirk: Hey, Trevor, how's it going?

Trevor: Good so did I tell you how I'm the Stoner pharmacist now?

Kirk: OK, I wasn't expecting that, I laughed out loud when you mentioned that in the interview. That’s coming, you gave away the punch line. That's hilarious.

Trevor: It kind of threw me for a loop at the store too. It was funny. But yeah, that was literally how the guy lead into it. He said, well, I wanted to talk to someone, yeah but I figured you would understand because you know, you're a Stoner, all right, I guess I'm the Stoner pharmacist now.

Kirk: Today I am And you know, well, it's interesting that people naturally view cannabis that way. I mean, there's obviously a fellow that is looking at it from recreational perspective, but so why did he call you? He can't end the story there. What was his? What was his question?

Trevor: Yeah. And I can't get into too many things without giving away some confidential stuff. But he had medication questions. That kind of related to cannabis and let's spin it the nicest that he wanted to talk to someone who wasn't going to judge him for the fact that he was using a lot of cannabis.

Kirk: Fair enough, fair enough. Carry on. We got a story here about pharmacists, yeah. MBAs and PhDs.

Trevor: Yes so we have, so, the guy who contacted us first was Daniel Bear from Humber College. They've been doing some really interesting stuff and they'll talk about it more, but we'll definitely have links to this on our website and on the show page, but the first one was this weed out misinformation website, which is really, really good, you know. It's got little videos from experts and it's really and they talked about it more. I'll not try to steal the thunder, but it's really focused on the consumer and what a cannabis consumer questions they might have about cannabis and they cover a lot of ground. But that sort of.

Kirk: It's a very it's very comprehensive, comprehensive.

Trevor: Yeah, it it's very, very good. Everyone should go there. Just pause here. Go there. It's great. But that kind of led them into the, “we think pharmacists should be cannabis educators.” And you know what I kind of agree, and I think that was about the point where you forwarded me with the emails. So yes, yes, I think pharmacists should be cannabis educators, but to get there they want to start by talking to consumers and pharmacists via survey to see what everybody needs and wants. I think that's my summary ahead of time.

Kirk: Yes, it is. And when we come out of the interview, I'll talk about I took the survey and what we can talk about after the interview if you'd like.

Trevor: Absolutely. So let's listen to Lisa Bishop and Daniel Bear. Hi, everybody. It's Trevor Shewfelt Reefer Medness on the line today, we have Daniel Bear, PhD, from Humber College. He is a PhD cannabis researcher and we have Lisa Bishop PharmD professor and pharmacist. At the School of Pharmacy at Memorial University in St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador. Good morning, everybody. I'm going to start with Lisa because you know you're to the top left of my zoom screen. Tell us a little bit about you and how you got into cannabis.

Lisa Bishop: Sure. So, first of all, thanks for having me here today. So, I am a pharmacist. And I work currently at Memorial University, so I'm a professor here as well. My clinical practice is in Primary Health Care, so I see a lot of patients who do use cannabis. You know, a lot of chronic pain and other ailments that that patients do experience. So, I have that patient care experience as well and as well I do a lot of research around cannabis and substances. So that's kind of one of my areas of interest. And in particular, the past few years, we've actually been looking at cannabis policy in Newfoundland and Labrador, looking at public health and safety. So, a lot of information came from that. One big message that we heard is that there is a lack of public education and knowledge around non-medical use or recreational use. As well as medical use of cannabis. So that's kind of led to our collaboration with Daniel at Humber and we'll talk a little bit more about our project in a little bit.

Trevor: You have done a fantastic segue for me. Thank you very much. So that segues nicely to Daniel Bear. Here, tell everybody a little bit about yourself and how you got interested in cannabis.

Daniel Bear: Thanks for having us on, Trevor. Yeah, I've been working in cannabis for 20 years now and I started off consuming cannabis as a medical patient when I was 16, very seriously injured in an assault. And, you know, in 1998, there just wasn't any information about cannabis. And how to use it safely and so I, you know, didn't always use it particularly safely. And you know, as I started getting older, I saw the differences in the way that friends were being treated, black friends versus white friends growing up in Los Angeles. Very different treatment by the police. And I knew there wasn't something right. About that I was too young to fully understand the full complexity of it, right? You could see that on its face, it was wrong. And that's led to a career studying cannabis in a variety of contexts. First with the American Civil Liberties Union in the US as a working civil rights law. But then as a researcher. First, looking at medical cannabis issues, then looking at policing and cannabis, and then the last sort of eight or nine years really focusing on cannabis education and trying to make up for the gap in education that was there and that I experienced when I was a young person and trying to build something that is evidence informed, nuanced, stigma free. And from a harm reduction lens, though, I'd say lately we've updated from talking about harm reduction always to talking about mindful consumption and issues like that to take that next step to ensure that people are both not experiencing negative effects but also are being able to identify how to, to actually have positive experiences with cannabis if they choose to consume?

Trevor: That's fantastic. And that actually leads us nicely to I'm going to make sure I say this properly Now it's a project that Humber College apparently has wrapped up, but it's still an amazing website. Just start flipping through it. I saw things like set and set and setting for when you use cannabis and I saw even a little video from a friend of the show Dr. Peter Grinspoon. Do you want to talk a little bit about

Daniel Bear: Yeah. So weed out misinformation was the project that led into our current work. And as I said, you know, we wanted to try and undo the bad education that's out there because a century of prohibition left people without the knowledge and information about how to safely consume cannabis and how to achieve the benefits they were looking for. It's not enough to say don't consume cannabis or don't consume cannabis and drive. You have to teach people how to safely consume cannabis and to consume it in ways that meet the goals they're looking for, or to tell them, hey, that goal you're looking for might be better met by a therapist than by cannabis. So we built this over the span of about three years and what we did, just like our current project with Weed Out Misinformation, we centered the voice of cannabis consumers. We asked them where do you get information? What information do you want? How do you want it presented? And then we used young people at Humber College in a Bachelor of Advertising program to build up the campaigns, build up the materials, and then we took those materials back to cannabis consumers. We took them back to bud tenders. We took them back to public health professionals and we asked them to identify, is this scientifically accurate? Is this stigmatizing? Does this feel right to you and really centered their voices in the creation of a campaign that says here's information you need to know. Here are common misconceptions that both paint positive lights on cannabis, and also paint cannabis too negatively. And then we brought in experts to do a short 2 minute video. Those to say and to focus in on specific issues and questions that people had so that there were digestible content and then we took all of the references that we used in that project and we put them up on the website so that people can look for information. We categorized it by different topic. So that if you were looking for information about cannabis, the scientific articles now some of them are behind paywall, but we tried to get as many that you know, we're Open Access and things like that there so that you can dig into the materials yourself and better understand what's out there.

Trevor: That is great. And like I said I was really impressed with the website and we'll definitely leave links to that on the show notes and our website for people to have a look at. But that is sort of the jumping off spot for pharmacists as cannabis educators. Now you're preaching to the choir here. I absolutely think pharmacists should be cannabis educators, but maybe I'll start with Lisa. You guys looked at sort of, we'll call it how much education pharmacists get with cannabis in their schooling -- and spoiler work, not a lot -- across Canada, what did you find and how did this new pharmacist cannabis educators project get going?

Lisa Bishop: So that's a great question. So, we started, first to get a sense of what is going on across the country. So, I'm an educator here at Memorial University. So, I have a sense of what's being taught here locally in our own school. But looking at the other eleven, well, there is a total of 11 schools of pharmacy across Canada now and really just doing that environmental scan. And there are a lot of gaps, as you can imagine. So, there's no real dedicated course around cannabis. A lot of us kind of mix into other courses and there's a big variety, in terms of what kind of content is covered. So, a lot of times there's pharmacology covered and drug interactions and side effects. And those kinds of things, but it's certainly not comprehensive. And it's often, it's not consistent. So, what one person's getting in one school is not consistent what's getting taught in another school. And some schools teach very little, some teach a little bit more. But again, there needs to be a bit more consistency and more of a foundation of what's being taught in the schools. So that is. Oh, go ahead Trevor.

Trevor: No, I'm just going to throw in an anecdote that thrown out before, but just and it's not just pharmacy schools. The anecdote that it's. Oh, it's… we're in a medical clinic, attached to medical clinic. So, we see family doctors in training a lot here and every so often one of the practitioners, the senior family docs, brings me along to talk about things like palliative care and that kind of thing to one of their education days and one of the palliative care things was talking about cannabis. So you know, we spent an hour talking about cannabis and, you know, bless the hearts of the medical students and residents, they were super interested but knew nothing. And to the point that, you know, I was talking about, you know, this, that and I throw out endocannabinoid system and you know, just blank stares. Well, OK, so the next time I do this, I should have slides that start with “we all have an endocannabinoid system,” which you know I had no idea what that was when I went to pharmacy school. But I kind of thought it was, maybe they were learning it now. And so, in medical school in Manitoba right now, at least not and I'm not surprised that your survey of pharmacy schools across Canada didn't show a lot either.

Lisa Bishop: No, and part of the other challenge is, well, one, how do you fit every single topic of everything that students need to know, whether it's medicine or pharmacy, into a program. Some of that supplemented by when they're going out on the practice experience rotations. And that's the other big gap and hence why we're leading into this project is pharmacists themselves don't have. Consistent knowledge around cannabis, right? It's new to them. It's newly legalized. And as you know, Trevor, a lot of pharmacists aren't as comfortable talking about cannabis or knowledgeable because they didn't get their schooling or didn't have opportunities to learn when they're actually practicing. So those students aren't getting that information when they go out in the practice settings either. So that gap's not being filled. And that's really where we want to kind of take this project that we've now started in terms of really getting the sense of well, what of the patients needs. So, consumers, you know, where are they getting their information and how can pharmacists has helped with that and as well for pharmacists, what are their needs? So what do they need to know about cannabis, what are their gaps, what are their attitudes, you know? So that's kind of our next step of this project and that's why this came to be.

Trevor: I think again that nicely throws to Daniel. So, what's the gap that has been identified Daniel, where are we going next?

Daniel Bear: Well, you know, I think you know what you're talking about is, I think pharmacists can talk about you know P-450 enzyme metabolism rates, but if they can't talk to a cannabis consumer about how, in the language the cannabis consumers are using, in terms of strains and producers and different products, they're not going to be able to have a successful interaction. So, what we figured we needed to do was to see what the consumers were talking about. What information they wanted, what kinds of interactions they were looking for and then also at the same time identify where pharmacists were at, you know, as an educator, we're always taught to meet your students where they're at and so what we've launched now are two current surveys. One for pharmacists and one for cannabis consumers, and the idea is that we want to hear from cannabis consumers about how they're consuming cannabis. The knowledge they need and from pharmacists, what knowledge they lack, and what kind of interactions they would like to be having because of the practice of retail pharmacy especially is incredibly difficult. You know you're running a small business while also and maybe not a small business, but you're running a business to varying sizes while having very limited time having very strict requirements on how you do things and very real consequences if things aren't done exactly right. So, we need to make sure that the education and opportunities we're creating for pharmacists fits into their lived reality. So, we're starting with surveys for both pharmacists and consumers. We're going to move into focus groups later in May and June and then with the data we're going to create an initial set of campaign materials, again using students at Humber, we think it's a great learning opportunity for students to be told, to be treated like they're an ad agency. Essentially create this new campaign and we're going to go back to pharmacists and consumers to help co-create materials. To create pamphlets for in store use. To create websites that both cannabis consumers and pharmacists can access, but then also and this is, I think one of the most important contributions we're aiming to create, is a continuing education course for pharmacists that will be available free, and thankfully, we're partnering with the Canadian Pharmacist Association along with Canadian Public Health Association and Canadian Center for Substance Abuse. And because of those really strong partnerships, we're going to make sure that this, the continuing education course and all the materials are going to be available to every single one of the 48,000 pharmacists all across Canada.

Trevor: That sounds really good just again, because it just struck a funny anecdote. When doing your surveys are you asking different questions of younger and older consumers? Just within the last month or so, well within last week a gentleman, younger gentleman called me up and had a bunch of questions and he said I called you because I know you're a Stoner; I think you would understand. All right, I guess I'm the Stoner pharmacist now. That's what happens when you have the podcast. But a couple of weeks before that, my co-host and I were out at a Senior Center sort of talking to people in their 70s who you know, a surprising number of them have either tried cannabis, usually a CBD oral or their kids or grandkids are urging them to, and they have completely different thoughts, concerns about cannabis then my younger friend who liked the fact I was a Stoner Pharmacist. Are you looking at things like age differences in the consumers?

Daniel Bear: We are asking for people's ages. We're not asking them different questions based on their age, but I suspect we will find different needs in different age groups and different concerns for use. You know, I mirror the experiences that you have. My own father when I was a teenager was very clear that if you ever caught me with cannabis, he'd take me to the police himself. And now that he's in his 70s, I regularly get calls and say I'm thinking about this or I'm thinking about this product. Does this have enough CBD for me? And last time I was at his house, he's in California, and so that it's a bit different there. But last time I was at their house in California, he had four different tins of edibles, and he said, well, your mother likes this one for sleep. But during the day she likes this one for her knee pain, and I like this one. And I was like, and the strengths of them. Oh, my God. Some of them are, like, 10 milligrams a gummy. And I was like, oh, my God, if I took that I would be asleep. So, it's a very different situation there. I think particularly seniors are we see them as one of the largest increases in consumption and one of the fastest growing groups. Their needs are different. Their medical concerns are different and obviously you know you and Lisa can speak to this bit more, but they're often on a number of prescription pharmaceuticals which have various interactions with Cannabis, and so their needs are very different, but I am not surprised to hear the stories of, you know, grandparents being urged by younger people. I'm experiencing myself. I experienced it at a coffee shop a couple of years ago, sitting and listening to four or five women in their 70s and 80s comparing, you know, what their grandson had recommended for this and how this topical will work versus this one so it's happening. The pharmacists need to be there because you know, as you're well aware, it is the lowest barrier access to medical care in a community. And with so many people not having family physicians these days, there's a real pressure put on pharmacists to provide information and care and in a way that maybe they didn't have to do 10 or 15 years ago and this is a such an emerging and widespread area. I mean, people think cannabis is not a widely consumed drug, but we're looking at you know, 27% of people admitting cannabis consumption in the last year, likely higher than that. You know, if we're thinking about how people are actually answering on surveys. So there's a lot of need in the community, and pharmacists are in a really strong position to support that. And we're hoping to be able to support pharmacists and in doing so, support consumers.

Trevor: Lisa, any, especially about the education of pharmacists and or maybe education of pharmacists and cannabis and seniors, thoughts. You were nodding a lot while Daniel was speaking.

Lisa Bishop: Yeah. So, one thing that came to mind, Trevor, when you brought up the interaction and the patient speaking to you, knowing that you're supportive of cannabis or know about it. The stigma. So, there is a lot of stigma, with healthcare providers around their acceptance of cannabis and how much they do accept patients and consumers. So, I think that's another big aspect that we want to explore. Like how do the consumers feel? Are they comfortable talking to the Pharmacies to the pharmacist. Do they feel that there's stigma and there's barriers in terms of even being comfortable getting that information? So, that's another piece that we want to explore on both the pharmacist side and the survey as well as on the consumer side because that's another I think big piece of education that needs to be done. And as pharmacists become more comfortable and more educated, hopefully, some of the stigma in that barrier will go away. So that's another big, big consideration that we're thinking about as well.

Trevor: Yeah. No, no stigma is a huge thing, and it comes up again and again. You would be, you'd be surprised everybody from growers to pharmacists to consumers to, you know, like you said, your 70-year-old mother or grandmother. She kind of like to try it because you know, Marg down the road was trying it, but you know I don't want to get high. I don't want that. So, you know, it's all sorts of stigma about all sorts of things. So yes, education is the best sieve for that absolutely. So, we want a little bit of a call to action before we go down anymore rabbit holes. If we have consumers or pharmacists or anybody else out there who wants to do the survey where are we going to point them?

Daniel Bear: So, our website is They can find both surveys there. They can also find bios on all the team involved in this. They can find out all about our partners on this. They can find about our financial sourcing. We have a grant from the government, federal government through the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada. All the information anybody could ever want on the project, We tried to find a longer title, but there wasn't any, so you know it's between weed out misinformation and cannabis education reearch. You know the only project I'm on that's longer than that is the one I'm on for cannabis growing and that's the Global Cannabis Cultivation Research Consortium. That one takes the cake for long project names, but that's our website with all the information, all the links that people need. And if you go to on any social platform, that's generally our handle on Facebook, Instagram, places like that. So, we've really tried to be as transparent and open and clear about our intentions as possible. The website lists basically everything, but our SIN numbers.

Trevor: No, that is fantastic. And Lisa, if I'm a pharmacist or if I'm a consumer, just, you know, make the case why should I spend, you know 10 to 15 minutes of my life filling out a survey for you guys?

Lisa Bishop: It's all about public health and safety, right? And doing the best for people. So we want people to be safe and healthy and make safe choices. So, by contributing to that, you can actually, anybody who fills out the survey contributing to the next 10 years in terms of how healthy healthcare and the ability for us to actually provide better healthcare. And this is through cannabis education, making safer choices. And I'm a big focus of our work as well as around harm reduction. So using those harm reduction principles, the mindful consumption and we want everybody to be safe and we never had the chance to really chat that much about the medical use versus the non-medical use as you know, Trevor.

Trevor: Well, we have time, let's delve into that now.

Lisa Bishop: Sure. So as you know, through pharmacies cannabis does not get dispensed through pharmacies. I mean, cannabis is still a drug. You know, and there's that whole debate whether should go through pharmacies or not. We won't get into that debate today. But the bottom line is.

Trevor: It should, it absolutely should.

Lisa Bishop: Yeah it, I know. But the bottom line is the pharmacists are not in the loop in terms of when patients are using cannabis. So, until we ask that question and have that open-ended conversation and there's so many barriers for accessing medical cannabis for patients, even those who are prescribed it? Who have a diagnosed reason for using cannabis, and there are barriers in terms of costs, in terms of drug coverage and often they will go to the non-medical supply because of those barriers and that's what we found in the research that we've done. And even when we're thinking about kind of those term reduction principles, you know, even if you're accessing non-medical supply for medical reason you know choosing the legal product right? So you have more consistency in terms of, well, what's in that product? You know, there's no contaminants like all those kinds of considerations. So that's kind of another kind of aspect of this and why this is so important for you know, consumers to be educated, for pharmacists to be there to be able to help those patients. Right. And help consumers.

Daniel Bear: And I would just jump in and say the latest data suggests that about 3/4 of people who report cannabis use for medical purposes, report buying from the retail markets and not from not being a part of the medical program. We've seen the medical registered medical patient numbers drop by over 100,000 patients in the last couple of years. You know the medical system is not ideally set up. It does work for some people. But it is, you know, difficult if you can't ever go in and talk to someone, face to face and just have to receive it through the mail. It's not a great system for folks. Some pharmacies are trying to change the way that happening and trying to bring cannabis in but cannabis is, you know, a drug with at least 113 cannabinoids of active compounds in there, not to mention the terpenes and the potential interactions that are occurring there. We know that, you know, most pharmaceutical drugs that are getting dispensed are one, maybe two active ingredients in there. And so it's an entirely different ball game to be mixing this, this variety of cannabinoids in there, many of which were not listing on the labels. And so the variation that can be going on there in the minor cannabinoids, one product to another. You know the same OG Kush between 2 growers can be very different and so it's important that pharmacists are brought into this conversation by participating in our surveys and our focus groups so that their voice, their experiences, their needs can be really well understood. We have 3 pharmacists on the team. We're very fortunate there. I'm incredibly outnumbered by pharmacists. But you know their experiences are while extensive and long lasting are not the totality of what pharmacists across Canada are experiencing, and so we need pharmacists to bring their voice to this research and at the same time, several of our team consume cannabis. But our experience is cannabis consumers are not the totality of cannabis consumers experiences, and so we need their voice and their experiences to be brought into this research because we believe in a human centered design approach where people build and inform the building of the tools and products that are there for their benefit. And we are, we take our responsibility to provide back to Canada with this research very seriously. You know, we are fortunate to be receiving Canadian taxpayer funds to conduct this work. And so we believe very strongly in providing something that's going to benefit Canadian society. But the only way that we can do that is with the participation of folks who take 10/15/20 minutes of their time depending on I guess, how quick of a reader and a clicker they are on the radio buttons. We say 20 minutes, but honestly I've flown through it as quickly as 10, but then again I know the question so you know somewhere in between there is how long it'll take you either for pharmacists or consumers and it's so vital that we have their voice centered in this work because Lisa and I and the rest of our team could have sat down and built out these materials ourselves. We could have easily done it. We know the science, we have our experiences, but that those wouldn't be holistic to the greater experiences that we're seeing across Canada and we want to make sure that whatever we spend our time in Canadian taxpayer funds on resonates as best as broadly as possible.

Trevor: No, I think that is a great, great pitch. Sorry Lisa I'm not trying to cut you off. What we're trying to.

Lisa Bishop: Just to add in terms of who can actually fill out the survey. So, for the pharmacist, survey is any pharmacist in Canada, so they don't have to have any experience with cannabis themselves or even practicing with it. We just want their opinion to this one thing and then the consumer survey, you have to be greater than 18. Living in Canada as well as used cannabis at least once in your lifetime or considering using cannabis? So it's not, we're not just

Trevor: So that's pretty much everybody.

Lisa Bishop: looking. Yeah. So, it's we're not looking for people who are, we are as well but it's not only for people who are frequently using cannabis, it's also even infrequent use or considering use. So you know just keeping it very broad and we want a very broad perspectives from everybody across Canada.

Trevor: So, this has been great and I'd you know, I'd love to spend more time picking your brains about medical versus recreational use and Kirk's theories about, you know, everybody who's using it recreationally is actually treating some underlying condition and tell you about the, you know, the little old lady who goes into the rec store to get her CBD and accidentally picks the THC, thinks she has having a stroke and ends up in the Hospital, but we don't have forever, so I'm going to stop that and I'll wrap by saying we're getting close to the end of our time. Anything else about the survey or anything else cannabis related that either of you would like to add before we wrap this up?

Daniel Bear: I'll just say that you know, I've been doing this work for, as I said, 20 years now professionally and 25 ish years or so as a cannabis consumer in various ways. And I'm so thankful that we're at this point. I'm frustrated that we're not further ahead, but I also didn't think that we'd ever really get to this point where we could be having conversations where we're saying, how do we loop in pharmacists and consumers together to ensure a successful experience for people who are consuming cannabis for whatever reason. Medical non-medical, whether they consider their use in one of those two camps or not, I'm so thankful that we're able to have this kind of discussion now where we're building these kinds of materials. And I'm appreciative of all the insights that people are bringing to us, the work that we're doing. And as I've said, only happens because people respond to the work that we put out there, the surveys and the focus groups. And so, you know, thank you in advance for taking our survey. I know finding 15 minutes to sit down and think about your cannabis consumption and take a survey in a busy schedule is not that always the easiest thing to do, but we will use your data and we will make your voice heard and I so appreciate the time that people take to work with us on this.

Lisa Bishop: So I was just going to echo what Daniel said, I just want to thank everybody for taking the time to fill out the survey. You know, take a few minutes. I mean, we all value that public, engage research and really hearing from the people to inform the work. So again, please take a few minutes to fill it out to make this move forward and be more value.

Trevor: So, we want everyone to take this survey because you know, frankly if you have, you think if you've used cannabis and over the age of 18 or have thought about it, you were eligible for this or if you're a pharmacist, you're eligible. So that is a whole bunch of people. So we want them to all go take the survey. Kirk. You've taken the survey. How'd it go?

Kirk: I did. I was afraid that this survey was going to be about harm reduction and about cannabis as a substance of abuse. So, I kind of thought they'd go that way. They didn't. I would say the majority of the questions are built around medical application of cannabis, so I was very impressed with that and I would recommend, I would recommend all health professionals do the survey to help pharmacists better understand cannabis. I think it's a good survey. Trevor, you should get in on it yourself, I think.

Trevor: Yeah. No. Yes, yes, I will absolutely take it. But I'm glad you again are so diligent and have done the survey before we talked about it. So that great that you figured it was very stigma free one of the terms that came up see if I'll get this right. So, we, when you read about cannabis literature, you hear about, like you said, harm reduction a lot. And like you said, harm reduction applies that cannabis is harmful. I like one of the terms Daniel was mentioning was mindful medication. Mindfully using cannabis. I'm going to try to use that way more now that's a it's just a nicer softer term, but it compasses more like. We're not saying this is harmful. Just, you know, use it mindfully. And you know what? Yes, that's perfect. I I really like the term I glommed onto that one. I like it I'm going to keep using it.

Kirk: I guess it's sort of, if you're going to equate it to the alcohol problem we have in Canada, it would be like Drink Responsibly.

Trevor: One of the behind the scenes one. I have to share this because I was telling everybody at the pharmacy. So, you know you start these zoom calls and someone comes in and someone comes in later. So, what do you talk about when you're just meeting someone for the first time but on zoom. You talk about the weather. So I was talking with Lisa and she's on the East Coast of, if you look at a map, you know, St. John's, Newfoundland is about as Far East as you can go in Canada. And she said, you know, how's the weather there? It was a little cold. There's in the minus teens, said how about there? Well, you know, last week we had 85 centimeters of snow. 85 centimeters. Like that's you're measuring snow in feet. And then we'll tease Daniel a little bit. He came on, you know, a few minutes later and he said, oh, you know, I just dropped off the kid at daycare. There's, like, half a centimeter of snow and everyone forgotten how to drive. He's in the Toronto area. And so we had to, we had to rip him a little bit that, you know, no, Lisa had 85 centimeters early in the week, Lisa wins.

Kirk: So weather. We've talked about weather.

Trevor: Yeah. Without going yeah, no. Let's get away from weather back to cannabis.

Kirk: I really think these guys are a bunch of academics and I think it's fantastic. With all of their pages have surveys. You know, Weeding out Misunderstanding had surveys, so I did them all. And apparently I'm knowledgeable on cannabis. According to this survey. Yeah, they, you know, there are 6 investigators, co-investigators on this survey. They're pharmacists, there's MBAs on it and there are PHD's on it, so I think they've got it covered from the perspective of doing a survey, they've got the business people behind it, the science people behind it and the content experts behind it. So, it's going to be a solid survey, I hope to get a story back from them, Trevor. So, stay in touch with this group and so that in about 6-8 months from now we can get another story out of them and figure out what they've discovered.

Trevor: Absolutely no, I agree. I really another one that I want to find out and then what you know what happened? What's the follow up? How does it turn out. Yeah and hopefully what are the fingers for?

Kirk: Oh well, my improv group has finger skit, but I won't do that on the podcast. Come to my improv show? No, no, I just had a revelation that there's more pharmaceutical knowledge and pharmacist responsibilities that we could discuss I mean the cannabis, the Cannabis Act review came out, and what happy little recommendation came out in that my friend?

Trevor: Yeah. So that came out before this interview. But yeah, the Health Canada is now saying that cannabis should be available and cannabis products should be available in pharmacies and we've had a few banters back and forth about this and yes, obviously I think that's a fantastic idea. Do I think it will happen quickly? I don't think anything happens quickly and you know, just like Health Canada right now says everybody in Canada can grow 4 plants in their home. But Manitoba said no. Is it possible Health Canada will say all pharmacies should have cannabis products and Manitoba will say no. It is possible so. It is definitely a step in the right direction. I just don't think as much as I'd like it to be different, I can't imagine, you know, Monday morning me suddenly being able to sell CBD oil without running afoul of somebody.

Kirk: Well, but it a recommendation, right? So their Recommendation 42 to improve patient access to cannabis for medical purposes. Health Canada should permit. Should permit pharmacies to distribute cannabis products, individuals holding medical authorization from the healthcare professional, so provinces and territories and regulatory authorities for pharmacists should consider supporting it. So, you're on the cutting edge, my friend.

Trevor: Yeah, if, its the whole if my college supports it. So we'll. Ah, yes. I think it's a step in the right direction, but we're, I think we have a hurdle or two more to go.

Kirk: I think there's an opportunity for you to educate your college, he says. He says very tentatively.

Trevor: That would be wonderful, but that might be a whole series of podcasts. Maybe what we should make a small podcast mini-series directly for my college administrators, but I don't have any music yet from Daniel and or Lisa. I will send off another e-mail to see, but if we don't that you have any ones that you would like to be played at the end?

Kirk: Well, we should do something from the East Coast. If they don't choose. If they don't choose anything, why don't we go with oh, boy, oh, boy, oh boy. Come on. Newfoundlanders. Come on.

Trevor: I like Great Big Sea

Kirk: That's what I'm looking for. OK, Great Big Sea

Trevor: We see if we get any from them, but if not, I'd pick anything from Great Big Sea. But I should say I'm Trevor Shewfelt I'm a pharmacist.

Kirk: And I'm Kirk Nyquist. I'm the registered nurse, and we have a Reefer Medness - The Podcast found at Where we have an abundance of educational information on a searchable web page. You should really check us out.

Trevor: You should. All right. It's been another good. One, we'll talk to everybody later.