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Canadian Hydroponics Company Assists Medical Patients


Release Date: September 15, 2006. Not Embargoed.
Subject: Medical Marijuana, Health, Hydroponics, Corporate Good Citizenship, Canada
From: Advanced Nutrients: Abbotsford, British Columbia, Canada

Contact Information: Company co-Founder and President Robert C. Higgins
Phone: 604 854 6793. Email:

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When Roger Stevens heard about Canada’s “Medical Marijuana Access Program” (MMAR) three years ago, he was excited.

In 1999, Stevens was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis (MS). The disorder attacks nerves and gradually disables its victims.

Studies in Europe and Canada indicate that some of the compounds in cannabis have unique ability to decrease MS symptoms.

Stevens was grateful for the Health Canada program MMAR program. He had lost his job and was relying on prescription medicines and physical therapy, but his MS was getting worse.

He was unable to move all his fingers, and the disease was causing cognitive problems.

He was eager to grow his own marijuana because he had seen newspaper reports about MS patients helped by marijuana and marijuana extracts.

The Canadian MMAR program allows patients to grow their own medical cannabis, or to designate someone else to grow it for them.

Stevens had a problem, however. He had never grown marijuana before. He didn’t know how to grow medical marijuana. He didn’t have the money, expertise or physical strength to set up a hydroponics garden. He didn’t know anyone who would grow marijuana for him. The Canadian government provides marijuana to some patients, but Stevens said it was too low in quality and too high in price.

Afraid to talk to friends or relatives about his need for medical marijuana, Stevens received his Health Canada marijuana growing license but did not use it. His condition worsened, and he sunk into despair.

Then, when he was surfing the Internet, he found startling information on a website that provides assistance to MS patients. The website contained a posting from a fellow MS patient who said a hydroponics fertilizer company based in Abbotsford, British Columbia was offering assistance to patients who needed to grow their own marijuana.

Stevens emailed the company, and received a phone call from an Advanced Nutrients representative who asked him to provide documents proving that he was a legitimate Health Canada medical patient and licensee. Then, a company representative visited his modest home in Northwestern British Columbia and interviewed him.

“The guy was super nice,” Stevens recalled. “He said that Advanced Nutrients was already helping other patients. He told me that the company would review my situation and contact me within two weeks.”

A week later, Stevens got a call from the company rep. Another meeting was set. This time, the Advanced Nutrients representative brought with him several hundred dollars worth of hydroponics equipment.

The representative set up the equipment in a large closet in the back of Stevens’s house. He showed Stevens how to use the equipment and said that he would visit every week after Stevens started his medical marijuana garden. The company offered to pay his electricity bill; hydroponics gardens use a lot of electricity.

Stevens got marijuana clones from a Vancouver medical marijuana advocacy organization. He carefully planted them in his newly-built hydroponics grow room.

Within five weeks, he had eight very healthy female medical marijuana plants. The Advanced Nutrients representative had visited every week, adjusting temperatures & lighting, and providing Advanced Nutrients products to feed and protect the plants.

Stevens says the Advanced Nutrients grow expert insisted on using non-toxic materials and helped ensure the quality and quantity of the upcoming harvest.

Stevens harvested his plants when they had been growing for nine weeks. After he dried the high quality marijuana flowers, he had just over a pound of top grade medical marijuana.

He chose to bake it into edible medicine and found that his MS symptoms (especially muscle tremors and rigidity) were dramatically reduced within an hour of eating a small amount of medical marijuana food.

Advanced Nutrients founder Robert C. Higgins is one of the Advanced Nutrients personnel who created the company’s medical patient assistance program.

“Most people don’t know how to grow quality hydroponics plants,” Higgins explained. “We kept hearing stories of people who received no benefit from the Health Canada MMAR because they couldn’t afford to grow their own, or didn’t know how. So we decided to help them. We feel it was a compassionate, civic duty.”

So far, Higgins says, Advanced Nutrients has helped dozens of legal, licensed medical marijuana growers.

Some growers receive a comprehensive assistance package that includes hydroponics fertilizer, hardware, labour and advice. Others receive nutrients, or hydroponics gardening information. What patients receive is based on their individual resources and needs, and on the company’s financial ability to subsidize the assistance program, which has cost the company tens of thousands of dollars.

Jeff Wardron is another Canadian medical marijuana patient helped by Advanced Nutrients. He says the company paid his electric bill and brought him food when he was short of cash.

“I already had a garden set up, so they didn’t need to do that. I used their fertilizer and it worked better than anything I have ever used. It nearly doubled my yield of medicine. They cared about me as a person, not just because I had a license to grow cannabis,” Wardron said. “I basically look at it that they saved my life.”

Roger Stevens agrees with Wardron that Advanced Nutrients is a lifesaver. The 37-year-old former pipefitter has “almost completely conquered MS” and is enrolled in a vocational program learning to design websites.

“My doctor considers my MS much reduced and now stabilized. He admits that this is because of my use of homegrown oral marijuana,” Stevens reports. “I could not have grown this without the help of Advanced Nutrients. I also know that their fertilizers are what make my garden give me the most medicine. I want to extend my deepest appreciation to them. They went out of their way to help a stranger.”



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