Patient advocacy icon Hilary Black today moved into the newly formed Chief Advocacy Officer position for cannabis company Canopy Growth Corporation (TSX: WEED; NYSE: CGC).

Black previously founded the British Columbia Compassion Club Society, known as one of the very first medical dispensaries to operate in Canada.

She moves into the new role after overseeing the company’s efforts to establish a cannabis-based professorship at the University Of British Columbia.

Following a $2.5 million donation, the university established the groundbreaking Canopy Growth Professor of Cannabis Science position, which will involve both education and running clinical trials on medical uses for marijuana.

As Chief Advocacy Officer, Black will focus on advocating for marijuana access both in Canada and abroad, in addition to new company initiatives to meet social responsibility standards. She commented:

For my entire life, I have broken down barriers so patients could access cannabis. Being with Canopy Growth has exponentially amplified these efforts. I feel a tremendous sense of responsibility and privilege to build on this legacy of compassion and carry out a mandate that will improve the lives around the world.

While the Cannabis Act was being debated to legalize recreational marijuana at the federal level, Black recruited patients to consult with both Health Canada and the government-run Task Force on Cannabis Legalization and Regulation.

She also previously prompted the advocacy groups Canadian Students For Sensible Drug Policy and Parent Action On Drugs to collaborate on developing materials and resources on healthy usage of cannabis.

Chief Advocacy Officer is the second new position established by Canopy Growth in as many weeks to increase patient access to cannabis worldwide.

Just last week, Canopy Growth recruited Dr. Danial Schecter of Canabo Medical Clinics to serve as the company’s Director Of Global Medical Services. The responsibilities of that position will include teaming up with new partner clinics in other nations, as well as developing educational material for medical staff.

These new positions follow a marked shift away from Canadian-only operations for Canopy in recent months and towards worldwide deals. The company recently entered the UK medical cannabis market by teaming up with Spectrum Biomedical, and additionally acquired a German vaporizer company late last year.

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