Calgary could host vital research on cannabis’s role in reducing opioid deaths

Calgary researchers are poised to study the merits of cannabis in tackling opioid addiction and slowing the rate of deaths from the painkillers, a senior physician said Thursday.

The city is host to the only publicly funded opioid de-prescribing clinic in Canada, which is handling a growing waiting list of those hoping to be weaned off the drugs, said Dr. Robert Tanguay, the provincial medical lead in opioid dependency training.

“It’s a perfect opportunity — there’s just this readiness waiting to happen (for research),” said Tanguay.

He said the study still requires approval from Health Canada, but he’s confident a program will proceed, operated out of Sheldon Chumir M. Chumir Health Centre, which is currently host to the city’s only opioid safe consumption site.

While Tanguay said that facility is important, it’s also vital to find better ways to more permanently care for those with opioid addictions.

“While a lot of work and spending has

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