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Nov 2011

  CCIC NEWSLETTER November 2011

DIRECTOR'S NOTE Dear colleagues,
I would like to open this month's newsletter by welcoming Matt Hill PhD to the role of President of the CCIC Board of Directors. Matt is a great example of Canada's "brain gain" as he has recently moved back to Canada and taken up a faculty post at the prestigious Hotchkiss Brain Institute at the University of Calgary. Matt's focus in on the role of the endocannabinoid system in regulating mood, especially depression, and he has published several seminal works in this area. Matt brings his preclinical experience to the Board and has strong links to the International Cannabinoid Research Society (ICRS). Welcome aboard, Matt, and the CCIC Board is in good hands under your leadership!
It is in many ways appropriate that we look seriously at cannabinoids and mood as the CCIC is receiving increasing interest from psychiatrists and family physicians with questions about both the potential use and abuse of cannabinoids in mood disorders. The CCIC was featured in a recent PostMedia piece on medical marijuana, and while there was no real 'news' to report, the topic of medical marijuana continues to be a major media draw. The main issue seems to be the Health Canada MMAR program, but the ensuing interest is in the public eye, and I have become aware of increasing concerns from the addictions and drug dependency community in Canada that youth are pointing to the medical use of cannabis as a sign that marijuana is safe for them to use. This mixing of messages is a major concern, and it will be a major focus of the CCIC in 2012 to try to balance the medical potential for cannabinoids with the potential for harm when cannabis is misused by adolescents.
To that end, it is pertinent that we feature a new publication from CCIC members in BC on users' perpsectives on cannabis use for therapeutic purposes; it is fascinating reading, and should serve to inform discussions and research on how the public perceives the medical use of cannabis and cannabinoids.
Mark Ware
Executive Director  

the state of the art, the state of the science
Official Satellite Symposium of the 14th World Congress on Pain
Saturday August 25, 2012, Melia Melano Hotel, Milan Italy

The CCIC will host world renowned cannabinoid experts for a one day symposium on Cannabinoids and Pain. This event will build upon the success of the first Cannabinoids and Pain Symposium, an official satellite symposium of the 13th WCP held in Montreal, August 2010.

Registration will begin december 2011/Jan 2012

For full details and to keep up to date, see  


CONFERENCES & EVENTS 2012 Conferences that may be of interest to you:
Patients Out of Time - Apr 26-28, Tuscon, AZ, USA
American Psychiatric Association - May 5-9, Philadelphia, USA
American Pain Society - May 16-19, Honolulu, USA
Canadian Pain Society - May 23-26, Whistler, BC, Canada
Consortium of Multiple Sclerosis Centers - May 30-Jun 2, San Diego, USA
American Society for Clinical Oncology - Jun 1-5, Chicago, USA
CAPM&R - June 20-23, Toronto, ON, Canada
ICRS 2012 - Jul 22-27, Freiburg, Germany
Cannabinoids and Pain 2012 - Aug 25, Milan, Italy
14th World Congress on Pain - Aug 27-31, Milan, Italy
Canadian Psychiatric Association - Sep 27-29, Montreal, QC, Canada
19th International Congress on Palliative Care - Oct 9-12, Montreal, QC, Canada
Family Medicine Forum 2012 - Nov 15-17, Toronto, ON, Canada
Canadian Society of Addction Medicine TBA, TBA, Canada
Society for Neuroscience - Nov 12-16, 2011, Washington DC, USA

SURVEY The Canadian Consortium for the Investigation of Cannabinoids has grown substantially since becoming a federally registered non-profit organization in 2007. As of November 2011 the CCIC consists of 85 Active Members and 99 Associate Members.
Increased engagement between CCIC staff and members as well as emphasis on member networking is a priority. As a first step in increased member engagement, the CCIC conducted a survey of member interests and various aspects of their involvement. Members were encouraged to complete the survey through links in the February, March, September and October 2011 Newsletters.
Results of the member survey have been compiled. 21 responses were submitted between February and November 2011. Although this represents only about 10% of members, it provides some insight as to the role the CCIC plays and responses have provided some feedback on possible areas for improvement.
To continue engaging and tailoring the CCIC to meet the needs of its members, more specific surveys will be created and distributed to members throughout 2012. Future surveys will address educational and research needs.
Should you have any questions or concerns please contact us at
Click here to view pdf of the Member Survey Results

Medical Marijuana in Canada - Update on the status of Health Canada's MMAR Program At the recent Family Medicine Forum in Montreal, Health Canada staff were conducting a needs assessment survey on the Marihuana Medical Access Program with Canadian Family Physicians. Physicians interested in filling out the Health Canada Needs Assessment on Medical Marihuana should contact their representative medical associations and Colleges about options for participation. Should it become available online or through the CCIC you will be notified in subsequent newsletters or newsflashes.
This survey is part of Health Canada’s considerations on improving the Marihuana Medical Access Program which began in June 2011. Comments to the Consultation Document were accepted until August 2011, to which the CCIC submitted a ten point plan commenting on the proposed changes to the program.
Health Canada has arranged an Expert Advisory Committee on medical cannabis, including several CCIC members to convene in January 2012.

IACM Bulletin The International Association for Cannbinoid Medicines (IACM) was founded in March 2000. The aim of the association is to advance knowledge on cannabis, cannabinoids, the endocannabinoid system, and related topics especially with regard to their therapeutic potential.
The IACM publishes a free bi-weekly email- newsletter 'Bulletin' covering news topics on all aspects of Cannabis as medicine.
To access the 20-Nov-2011 IACM Bulletin CLICK HERE
For more information on the IACM or to join their mailing list visit

MEMBER PUBLICATIONS Health effects of using cannabis for therapeutic purposes: a gender analysis of users' perspectives.. Bottorff JL, Bissell LJ, Balneaves LG, Oliffe JL, Kang HB, Capler NR, Buxton JA, O'Brien RK. (Subst Use Misuse. 2011;46(6):769-80.)
Clearing the smoke around medical marijuana. Ware MA. (Clin Pharmacol Ther. 2011 Dec;90(6):769-71.)

We welcome your contributions to the monthly newsletters. Please send any recommended articles, share your research news, suggest a conference or provide feedback and suggestions to

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