In an effort to advance the highest standards within Canadas medical cannabis industry, Tilray has founded a new association, the Canadian Medical Cannabis Council (CMCC), to represent licensed producers and other industry stakeholders who are committed to building long-term trust with patients.
Following several unsuccessful attempts to persuade the Canadian Medical Cannabis Industry Association (CMCIA) to adopt a Code of Ethics that mandates a commitment to safety, transparency and avoidance of conflicts of interest, Tilray has terminated its membership with the CMCIA. While we are disappointed to end this relationship, we feel that the CMCIA and its members have failed to serve the best interests of Canadian patients.
Core to our decision to sever ties with the CMCIA is our belief that patients are best served when treatment choices are made without financial influence or incentive. Without effective industry self-governance by the CMCIA, several licensed producers are currently engaging in the practice of providing direct or indirect financial incentives to physicians for issuing medical documents and/or referring patients. This practice raises serious conflict of interest concerns and is expressly prohibited by provincial Colleges of Physicians. Tilray has never and will never compensate physicians for referrals or patient authorizations, as kickbacks increase costs to patients while compromising patients options in choosing a licensed producer.
The newly formed CMCC reflects our long-term commitment to accountability to patients. The CMCCs Code of Ethics is based on six fundamental and non-negotiable principles: safety, integrity, quality, access, security and research. All licensed producers and other industry stakeholders are invited to be members as long as they agree to abide by the CMCCs Code of Ethics.
While the CMCC is searching for an independent executive director, Tilrays Vice President of Patient Research and Services, Philippe Lucas, will serve as interim Executive Director.
We believe our industry must recognize that a commitment to ethics and the highest standards of safety, transparency and research is the only viable way to build patient trust and establish our industry as a legitimate contributor to Canadas healthcare system, explains Lucas.
We are hopeful that other licensed producers will realize this and join our effort, and that patients will benefit from a more ethical, accountable approach and organization.