While medical marijuana patients in Canada currently only have access to their medicine by way of mail order, the nation’s largest drugstore chain hopes to expand the distribution by stocking a variety of cannabis products in over a thousand stores across the 10 provinces.
Shoppers Drug Mart Corp. is reportedly in negotiations with a number of cannabis producers all over the country in an attempt to strike a package and supply deal that would allow all of the company’s 1,300 pharmacies to carry a generic version of marijuana branded with the Shoppers name.
A report from The Globe and Mail indicates that a group of executives from the company have been engaged in a number of meetings with federally licensed pot producers over the past few weeks in hopes taking Canada’s medical marijuana program to the next level. A representative for the drugstore chain confirmed these plans by suggesting that trained pharmacists should be responsible for dispensing cannabis medicine.
“Pharmacists are medication experts and play a significant role in the prescribing and monitoring of medication to ensure safe and optimal use,” Tammy Smitham, a company spokesperson, told G&M. “We believe that dispensing medical marijuana through pharmacy, like other medications, is the safest option.”
The implications behind this deal are immense, especially considering that the Canadian government is now working to completely end pot prohibition and wants to establish a taxed and regulated marketplace for which to allow its citizens to purchase weed no differently than they do beer. By getting the ball rolling, Shoppers Drug Mart is positioning itself to become one of Canada’s first national retail outlets to sell cannabis products to the masses – a concept equal to stores such as CVS and Wal-Mart selling alcohol in the United States.