Article by Wayne Lowrie, Recorder & Times
A budding local business has become the first in the region to open a retail pot store.
But there is a catch. Completely Cannabis at 189 King St. W. in Brockville is licensed by Health Canada to sell medical cannabis only to patients with a doctor’s prescription.
Tom Scott, manager of Completely Cannabis, said the doctor’s prescription rule is not a barrier to most customers, however. He said doctors are now more willing to prescribe pot as the medical benefits of cannabis become well-known.
And if a customer doesn’t have a prescription, the pot store can arrange one, Scott said, although he recommends that people try their general practitioner first.
The entire process takes about 45 minutes. The customer fills out a medical form and the store submits it to an Ottawa medical professional who reviews it, interviews the customer online and then issues the prescription.
The prescription cost is borne by OHIP and some private insurance companies cover medical cannabis, although most don’t, he said.
Medical cannabis has been found useful in the treatment of arthritis, chronic pain, depression and a multitude of other disorders, he said.
Scott said that Completely Cannabis is one of only three brick-and-mortar medical-pot stores to be licensed by Health Canada in the entire country, and the only one in Ontario.
As a small medical-pot retailer, Scott said his store is able to access cannabis products from small licensed cultivators and processors that are shut out of the recreational pot market by the big producers.
That means his store can offer high-quality cannabis from the micro-producers, he said.
Scott drew a parallel with small-batch micro-breweries versus Big Beer. In this analogy, his suppliers would be the niche breweries while Canopy Growth would be Molson’s.
Inside the downtown store, clients are able to consult with trained staff on a range of cannabis products, including edibles, dry herb, drinks, teas, coffees, balms and lotions, Scott said.