Research

Philippe is a Research Affiliate with the Center for Addictions Research of British Columbia and a founding Board member of the Multidisciplinary Association of Psychedelic Studies Canada and the Canadian Drug Policy Coalition.  His scientific research interests, projects and publications include the therapeutic use of cannabis, Canadian and international cannabis policy, and the use of cannabis, ibogaine, and ayahuasca in the treatment of addiction.  Currently, he is a Primary or Co-Investigator on a number of studies examining cannabis substitution theory, and Coordinator and Co-Investigator of an observational study of ayahuasca-assisted treatment for addiction and stress.  In 1999 Philippe founded the Vancouver Island Compassion Society, one of Canada’s longest running non-profit medical cannabis dispensaries, for which he acted as Executive Director until 2009.

A former school-teacher and childcare professional with a post-degree Certificate in secondary education , Philippe is very active in the community, and served as a Victoria City Councillor and a Director on the Capital Regional District Board from 2008-2011.  He is currently Board Chair of the Victoria Downtown Public Market Society, and is leading an initiative to establish a food-centered Public Market in Victoria’s historic Hudson building.

Philippe is also owner of Compassionate Consulting, a public health and research consultancy through which he provides court expert testimony, strategic policy planning and development advice, and social and clinical research services.  Additionally, he and his wife Mary are co-owners of Hip Baby Victoria, a local kids shop focusing on safe, sustainable toys, books and clothing for kids aged 0-6.  They are proud parents of their daughter Sophie.

Over the years, Philippe has received a number of accolades and awards for his work in the community and academic achievements, including the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal (2013), the CRFAIR 2012 Food and Agriculture Champion Award, The Land Conservancy Top 50 BC Environmental Heroes 2011, the University of Victoria Blue and Gold Award for academic excellence and community service (2007), and the Vancouver Island Civil Liberties Association Leadership Award (2002).

Cannabis Health Services and Health Policy Research Priority Setting Workshop

Vancouver BC
March 2012-April 2013
Co-investigator(Lynda Balneaves is PI) in a CIHR-funded, UBC-affiliated consultation to establish medical cannabis research and policy priorities in BC and throughout Canada.  This project culminates in a 2-day multi-stakeholder consultation taking place in Vancouver on Feb. 14th-15th 2013.

Medical Cannabis Standards, Engagement, Evaluation, Dissemination (SEED) Project
Throughout BC.
January 2012-January 2014
Co-researcher (Zack Walsh PhD is PI) and medical cannabis community liaison in UBC-affiliated, community-based research project to assist the Canadian Association of Medical Cannabis Dispensaries with the creation of standards and an associated certification program for dispensaries in BC.  Work involves review of standards and certification process, organizing broad-based stakeholder consultations, and developing an evaluation strategy to monitor impact on dispensaries, patients and communities.  Funded by a $90,000 grant from the Peter Wall Solutions Initiative.

Cannabis Access For Medical Purposes Survey (CAMPS)
Co-Primary Investigator (Zach Walch PhD and Rielle Capler co-PIs) in a community-based study of self-identified medical cannabis patients in Canada.  The primary focus of this study is a comprehensive online survey designed to document day-to-day realities of Canada’s medical cannabis patient community, and to identify and potentially address barriers blocking safe access to medical cannabis.  This study is affiliated with UBC.

Observational study of ayahuasca-assisted therapy for addiction and patterns of dependence
January 2010 – present
Coordinator and co-researcher (Gerald Thomas is PI) of a study examining the outcomes of ayahuasca-assisted therapy on compulsive behaviours. The protocol received ethics approval in Feb. 2011, and data gathering was completed in March 2012.  A publication is currently under review in the Journal of Current Drug Abuse Reviews.

Cannabis as a Substitute for Alcohol and Other Drugs; A Compassion Club-Based Survey of Substitution Effect in Canadian Medical Cannabis Patients
Feb. 2010 – present
Coordinator and PI of study examining self-assessed changes in licit and illicit substance use of 400 medical cannabis patients in BC.  Data gathering for the study was completed in Feb. 2011.  Data analysis completed; paper published in the Journal of Addiction Research and Theory in Dec. 2012.

Quality of Service Assessment of Health Canada’s Marihuana Medical Access Division – McMaster University/CAR BC.  December 2006 – present
Co-Investigator (with Dr. Andrew Hathaway) of an end-user assessment of the federal medical cannabis program.  This project is funded by the McMaster Arts Research Council.  Final paper published in the Journal of Psychoactive Drugs in 2012.

Changes in the use of pharmaceutical opiates in chronic pain sufferers newly-registered with a community-based medical cannabis dispensary
VICS/UVic/Center for Addiction Research of British Columbia.
July 2006-May 2008
Principle Investigator in a pre-test, post-test study of the changes in licit and illicit substance use patterns in new members of the Vancouver Island Compassion Society, with a focus on the use of pharmaceutical opiates – Master’s Thesis research project.

Cannabis use as self-medication: A study of Canadian compassion clubs and clients
VICS/Canadian Center for Addiction and Mental Health.
2006-2007
Co-investigator on ethnographic examination of the members and customers of community-based medicinal cannabis distribution organizations.

Survey of medicinal cannabis use among childbearing women: patterns of its use in pregnancy and retroactive self-assessment of its efficacy against ‘morning sickness’
UVic/VICS/BCCCS.
2005-2006.
Co-investigator in retroactive survey of women who used cannabis during pregnancy.  PI is Rachel Janssen PhD, study sponsored by UVic and Michael Smith. Findings were published Journal of Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice.

A comparison of the effects of smoked whole-plant cannabis of different THC concentrations in non-treatment naive patients with chronic pain – The Vancouver Island Compassion Society
September 2003 – present
PI in examination of the effects of smoked cannabis on chronic pain.

The Effects of Cannabis Use on Hepatitis C and Interferon/Ribovarin Treatment.
VICS/BCCCS/Dr. Sylvestre (University of California, San Francisco).
May 2002 – Sept. 2005
Co-investigator on survey protocol examining increases in the success rate of interferon/ribovarin treatment on hepatitis c.

RESEARCH SUPPORT

Cannabis as Therapy for People Living With HIV/AIDS – Canadian AIDS Society
Spring 2005-June 2006
Steering Committee member of federally-funded study of the human rights and ethical concerns of HIV/AIDS sufferers in accessing medicinal cannabis.  The study’s final results were released in June of 2006.
Observational case series study of the long-term efficacy of Ibogaine-assisted therapy and associated interventions in participants with opiate addiction treated at the Iboga Therapy House – Multidisciplinary Association of Psychedelic Studies.
October 2005 – August 2006
Contracted consultant on protocol investigating changes in opiate use following treatment at Iboga Therapy House.

PEER REVIEWER FOR FOLLOWING JOURNALS

Harm Reduction Journal
International Journal of Drug Policy
Substance Abuse Treatment, Prevention, and Policy
Humboldt Journal of Social Relations
Journal of Rheumatology
General Hospital Psychiatry

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