Former B.C. health minister Terry Lake takes a job in Canada’s about-to-be-booming marijuana industry

British Columbia’s former health minister has revealed where he’ll be spending his time now that he’s done with politics: with marijuana.

Terry Lake / terrylake.liberal.ca

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British Columbia’s former health minister has revealed where he’ll be spending his time now that he’s done with politics: with marijuana.

Today (August 31) Hydropothecary Corp. announced that Terry Lake had joined the company as its new vice-president of corporate social responsibility.

“It is exciting to be part of a company at the forefront of change in public policy,” Lake said, quoted in a Hydropothecary media release. “My prime objective is to ensure that the initiation of the framework around recreational cannabis is done in a way that, above all, protects public health, especially as it relates to young Canadians.”

Lake was the Liberal MLA for Kamloops-North Thompson from 2009 to April 2017. He did not run in the 2017 election in which the Liberals lost power. Prior to provincial politics, Lake was the mayor of Kamloops from 2005 to 2008 and before that served as a city councillor. He’s trained as a veterinarian.

Hydropothecary is a medicinal-marijuana producer that’s licensed by Health Canada. That makes it well-positioned to begin growing and selling recreational marijuana once the federal government’s promised framework for fully legal cannabis takes effect in the near future.

Its release notes that Lake was “deeply involved in British Columbia’s recreational and medical cannabis initiatives and policy advances”.

(I covered marijuana in Vancouver and B.C. during the years Lake was in power and have no idea what Hydropothecary is talking about there. Lake and the entire Liberal government never really had anything to do with marijuana in B.C.)

“His knowledge of the cannabis industry from the political frontlines will play a key role in Hydropothecary’s corporate social-responsibility efforts,” the company’s release continues.

Lake added a comment about the move on Twitter this morning. “Very excited about this position and this company as Canada enters biggest public policy shift in many years,” he wrote.

Hydropothecary is based in Gatineau, Quebec. Lake has said he is relocating to Ottawa for the job (which is just across the Ottawa River from Gatineau).

Lake is the third big name in B.C. politics to enter the marijuana industry after leaving office.

In May 2014, Mike Harcourt, a former Vancouver mayor and B.C. premier, was named a chairperson of True Leaf Medicine Inc., a medicinal cannabis company based in Lumby, B.C.

Earlier the same month, former B.C. solicitor general Kash Heed—who once led the Vancouver Police Department’s drug squad—announced he was working as a consultant to growers that are licensed under the federal regularity system for medicinal marijuana.

Canada is in the process of creating a legal framework for the cultivation and sale of recreational marijuana. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has given the provinces a deadline of July 2018 to draft regional legislation that allows that to happen.

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