While recreational cannabis won’t be available in Canada until July 1, medicinal weed could become more accessible than ever, with Ontario-based cannabis manufacturer Aphria Inc. announcing it has reached a partnership deal with Canadian pharmacy chain Shoppers Drug Mart outlet to become their exclusive provider of medical marijuana.
Shoppers Drug Mart and Aphria Team Up
Aphria announced Monday that it finally reached a five-year deal with the pharmacy chain. As a part of the deal, the cannabis company will provide Drug Marts around Canada with four strains of dried marijuana flower in two different sizes and four cannabis oils— all with the Aphria brand name.
While this remains a done deal on paper, the contract still is awaiting approval from Health Canada, who must first review Shoppers Drug Mart’s application to be a licensed marijuana retailer. The chain’s parent company, Loblaw Companies Ltd., applied for a license back in October 2016, but it is still awaiting a final verdict.
If Loblaw’s medical license is approved, there would be one major restriction, however. Although medicinal cannabis would be available for purchase through Shopper’s Drug Marts, all sales would have to occur online, as Canada’s current federal regulations only allow licensed pharmaceutical providers to distribute their pot products through the mail.
Aphria’s CEO, Vic Neufeld, believes the partnership will be highly beneficial for both parties.
“We have an impeccable record cultivating and producing high-quality, medical-grade cannabis,” said Neufeld. “These traits make us a strong partner for an organization looking to serve and support Canadian patients.”
“We have an opportunity to grow as Shoppers Drug Mart grows.”