Shoppers Drug Mart enters supplier agreements for medical cannabis

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Shoppers Drug Mart enters supplier agreements for medical cannabis

By Gisselle Gaitan - 01/03/2018

Shoppers Drug Mart is aiming towards securing its place as a dispensary for medical marijuana with news circulating that the retail pharmacy chain has now entered a supplier agreement with two companies — Aphira and MedReleaf. 

Leamington, Ontario-based Aphira — a company that produces, supplies and sells medical cannabis — announced entering an agreement with the retail chain pharmacy to supply medical marijuana in early December. 

"We have an impeccable record cultivating and producing high-quality, medical-grade cannabis," Vic Neufeld, CEO of Aphria, said. "These traits make us a strong partner for an organization looking to serve and support Canadian patients."

On the heels of that announcement, MedReleaf also announced entering an agreement with Shoppers Drug Mart to supply medical cannabis. The Markham, Ontario-based company is an ICH-GMP and ISO 9001 certified cannabis producer in North America.

"From inception, MedReleaf has been focused on setting the standard for patient care in our industry and producing consistent, high-quality medicine," Neil Closner, CEO of MedReleaf, said. "With this agreement, we look forward to making our award-winning strains available as the trusted provider of premium cannabis-based pharmaceutical products to the largest pharmacy retailer in Canada."

Shoppers Drug Mart announced that it would be applying for a medical marijuana production license in October of 2016. Approval from Health Canada is still pending, but this deal would allow for both MedReleaf and Aphira-branded medical cannabis products to be sold online, as Canadian regulations currently restrict the sale of medical cannabis in retail pharmacies.

Last November, a poll commissioned by the Ontario Pharmacists Association found that 70% of Canadians believe pharmacists should be involved in dispensing medical cannabis to patients. A 56% of those surveyed said they preferred medical marijuana to be dispensed by a pharmacist over other delivery methods and 75% of those polled would prefer to receive the product from a pharmacist in order to receive advice and counseling, the organization said.