Harvest. Our roots are in organics.
B.C. Grower's Medical Marijuana
Certified Canada's First
Totally Organic Pot
CANADIAN PRESS (CP)
by Dirk Meissner, Canadian Press
April 27th, 2003
Eric Nash and his wife, Wendy Little, grow the
healthiest legal pot in Canada.
Nash and Little are the first federally licensed medical
marijuana growers in Canada to have their crop
officially certified 100 per cent organic.
It's a healthy bonus for the thousands of Canadians who
could use it to ease suffering from a wide range of
conditions, including multiple sclerosis, cancer,
arthritis and AIDS, Nash says in an interview at his
home in this Vancouver Island community about 70
kilometres north of Victoria.
The Certified Organic Association of British Columbia,
an organization likely more accustomed to monitoring the
production of carrots or spinach, granted Nash and
Little certified organic status this month.
In British Columbia, where the RCMP says that black
market marijuana worth billions is the province's
largest cash crop, Nash displays his organic
certification like a badge of honour.
Nash, 44, and Little, 41, do not fit the stereotype of
typical marijuana growers or pot smokers. Both graduated
from university with honours, Little in education and
Nash in visual arts. They have an eight-year-old
daughter and live in an attractive, art-filled home in
an older Duncan neighbourhood.
Nash, a Web site designer and former professional
horticulturist, says organic certification is a step
forward in the slow march toward getting Ottawa to
acknowledge that marijuana has wide-ranging medicinal
"It's raising the credibility of medicinal marijuana as
a legitimate medicine, as a safe medicine, as an
alternative medicine to all the pharmaceuticals and
other things that people tried that don't work," Nash
People who are sick or in pain deserve access to
medicine - what Nash calls his marijuana - grown without
the use of toxic pesticides and fertilizers, he says.
"I want to ensure these people are getting certified
organic marijuana for their health problem," Nash says.
"I want people to know it's been inspected every step of
the way, from the soils to the fertilizers."
He gladly admits telling an agricultural feed store
employee recently that he was growing organic marijuana
for medicinal purposes, legally.
"Her jaw just about dropped on the floor," Nash says.
Nash and Little are two of the 36 Canadians licensed by
Health Canada to produce medical marijuana for ill
The federal Marijuana Medical Access Regulations,
enacted in July 2001, allow people to apply to legally
grow their own marijuana or designate a grower for their
Ottawa granted Prairie Plant Systems Inc., a five-year,
$5.7-million contract in 2000 to grow marijuana in an
old copper mine in Flin Flon, Man.
But Health Canada has said it will not make any of its
Flin Flon marijuana available to patients because it
wants to see scientific proof about whether the drug is
Nash says the medicinal marijuana approval process is
complicated and requires completion of lengthy forms by
patients and their doctors.
"An incredible amount of people don't feel comfortable
asking their doctor for cannabis for medicine," he says.
"Many feel the doctor will think, 'I'm just asking for
Nash provides his organic medical marijuana to a
Vancouver Island woman with MS and his wife supplies
marijuana to an Edmonton man, also with MS.
Licensed growers are permitted by law to distribute
marijuana to one person and it must be on a non-profit
basis, says Nash.
The couple applied to Health Minister Anne McLellan last
January to supply their marijuana to more than one
patient each, but haven't yet heard from Ottawa.
Nash and Little say they became involved in the medical
marijuana issue for compassionate reasons.
Little's father was suffering from arthritis and
Parkinson's disease and wanted to know about the
possibility of using medical marijuana to ease his pain,
Her father never ended up trying marijuana because he
was concerned about breaking the law, but the medical
marijuana issue continued to grow for the couple.
Nash designed a Web site for people to discuss medical
marijuana issues, which now has turned into one of the
leading marijuana sites on the Internet, with 500,000
It has been noted as a national reference by the
Canadian AIDS Society and the Multiple Sclerosis Society
"We get so many e-mails from patients in pain," says
Nash. "There's a huge need for someone to supply these
Nash says he is ready to provide healthy marijuana to
more than just one patient.
"Tens of thousands would gladly take part if they didn't
have to jump all the hoops."