A First Nations health organization in the Cariboo Chilcotin is broadening the conversation about medical cannabis by inviting an expert physician to share his knowledge in Williams Lake.
Three Corners Health Services Society is hosting medical cannabis expert Dr. Rob Sealey Thursday and Friday to meet with doctors, elders, nurses, local chiefs and city council to share his knowledge.
“Some of our nurses attended a presentation Dr. Sealey did at the B.C. Nurses Forum last year and said we should invite him here,” said Lori Sellars, executive director of Three Corners Health.
“He’s dynamic and he is an informed presenter. I think he’ll be not only able to share information in the area of medical cannabis but some of the clinical practice with the nurse practitioners and physicians and our health care providers.”
Sellars said she is hoping Dr. Sealey’s visit will be the start to building knowledge about medical cannabis for the whole region and a good opportunity to discuss new approaches as a society and the broader community.
“There are clients in our area, not just First Nations, who are using medical cannabis so by getting everyone in the room together we can build on knowledge together. It’s not for everyone, but I think we all need to be informed.”
Dr. Sealey has been involved in both the clinical and research aspects of medical cannabis since 2001.
He is an active member of the peer sharing group Physicians for Medicinal Cannabis along with the Canadian Consortium for the Investigation of Cannabinoids, the International Cannabinoid Research Society and the International Association for Cannabis.
Dr. Sealey has been active with a full service family practice including hospital and long-term care facilities in Victoria since 1991.
He has also volunteered around the world including South Africa, Kenya, Vanuatu and the Dominican Republic.
Sellars said Three Corners Health’s nurse practitioner Catherine Birtwhistle has been working with Williams Lake’s Dr. Roland Engelbrecht who runs Cornerstone Chemical Dependency Clinic in the area of addictions.
“For us, we are always looking for doctors to work with,” Sellars said.
“Many of our people — both in communities and in Williams Lake do not have a doctor. We have flagged Interior Health letting them know we would like another nurse practitioner because the physicians are so busy.”