Former B.C. health minister joins burgeoning medical marijuana industry

B.C.’s former Liberal health minister Terry Lake has a new job in the medical marijuana industry with Quebec company Hydropothecary.

Terry Lake hired by company that produces medical marijuana, other pot products

Terry Lake will leave B.C. to take on new role with the marijuana industry (Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press)

B.C.'s former Liberal health minister Terry Lake has a new job in the medical marijuana industry with Quebec company Hydropothecary.

In an interview with Early Edition guest host Stephen Quinn, Lake said his background in science and government will be helpful to the company.

"What we want to ensure is that we are socially, environmentally and scientifically responsible, and assure the public and governments across Canada that we are upholding the highest standards possible."

The publicly-traded company produces medical marijuana and other pot products in Gatineau, Que.

Lake admitted to using marijuana a handful of times as a youth, and recently in Washington state as he consulted with the industry there.  

"I tried it a couple of times over the last several months just to look at the framework they have down there — and how it all works." 

Marijuana as a substitute for other medications

Lake said one of the things he will be focusing on is the health aspects of marijuana — and he's optimistic it can be used to substitute other types of medications.

"I think the destigmatization with legalization will allow research to be unlocked and enable us to find more beneficial uses."

Lake will take on the role of vice president of corporate social responsibility.

Adam Miron, cofounder and chief brand officer at Hydropothecary, says Lake's previous experience as a government official makes him well-suited for the position as they expand into legal marijuana.

"It's been very clear from the federal government that they want to make adult use of recreational marijuana safe for all Canadians. We thought — who better to do that from the industry side than Dr. Terry Lake?"

In Sept. 2016, Lake announced he would not be seeking re-election, citing the strain of political life on his family.

He was first elected to the legislature in 2009 and re-elected in 2013. He served as both health and environment minister under former Premier Christy Clark.

The federal government plans to legalize the recreational use of marijuana by July 2018.