Shoppers Drug Mart Applies to Sell Medical Marijuana

Article by Patrick Cain, Global News

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Canada’s largest drug store chain has applied to be a licensed producer of medical marijuana, another sign that pharmacies are interested in playing a major role in a growing industry.

“We believe that allowing medical marijuana to be dispensed through pharmacy would increase access, safety, quality and security for the thousands of Canadians who use the drug as part of their medication therapy,” Shoppers Drug Mart spokesperson Tammy Smitham wrote in an e-mail.

Shoppers has no plans to start growing pot itself — they want to buy it from a grower. But under federal rules, patients are only able to buy medical marijuana from licensed producers.

In May, Loblaw announced that it wants to sell medical marijuana through its in-store pharmacies.

Pharmacies should be the distribution channel for medical marijuana, the Canadian Pharmacists Association argued in August in its submission to the federal commission studying marijuana legalization

“We really wanted to focus on the need for pharmacists to be involved in clinical oversight,” spokesperson Phil Emberley explained to Global News earlier this month. “We know that these medications are potent, we know that marijuana is potent and that there can be drug interactions with medical marijuana.”

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