Zach Walsh, PhD, is an Assistant Professor in the UBC Department of Psychology and Co-Director for the Centre for the Advancement of Psychological Science and Law. He attended the University of Winnipeg as an undergraduate, received a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology in 2008 from the Chicago Medical School/Rosalind Franklin University, and completed a clinical internship and a research fellowship at the Brown University Centre for Alcohol and Addiction Studies. Dr. Walsh is a registered clinical psychologist whose research has been supported by the Canadian Institute of Health Research, the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, Health Canada, BC Interior Health Authority, the Peter Wall Endowment, and the American Psychological Association.
Primary Recipient Awards
Medical Cannabis: Certification for Safe Access
Principal Investigator: Zach Walsh, Department of Psychology; Department of Computer Science, UBC Okanagan
Partner Organization: Canadian Association of Medical Cannabis Dispensaries, Canadians for Safe Access
The lack of standardized, certified and effective access to medical cannabis substantially reduces the recognized personal and public health benefits of this medicine. Patients, practitioners and policy makers have expressed the need for standardized policies and practices to maximize the potential health benefits and to minimize potential harms to individuals and communities. Standardization of dispensaries will help ensure product safety, facilitate uptake of patient education and support strategies that promote safe and appropriate use and mitigation of side effects, and will further protect patients from dangers associated with illegal-market access. The Canadian Association of Medical Cannabis Dispensaries (CAMCD), was established with the goals of a) standardizing policies and practices across dispensaries; and b) developing a certification body. This project brings together clinical researchers from UBC with expertise in research methodology, substance use, complementary medicine, policy evaluation, and coping with chronic illness will work with key end-users to develop, implement, and evaluate a standardization and certification framework for medical cannabis dispensaries in BC. Consultation with experts and dispensaries will create and disseminate certification policies and practices to address the needs and concerns of patients and other stakeholders, including the medical community, municipal and provincial governments, law enforcement and the judicial system.