With the approach of recreational marijuana sales in Canada there are also changes coming to the medicinal marijuana program throughout the country. Currently, medical marijuana can only be sold online and delivered by mail to Canadian patients – and very few have permission to cultivate marijuana themselves.
There are looking to be two major changes coming to the Canadian medical marijuana program in the near future – one being the largest pharmacy chain in the country looking to be the first to sell retail products and the second being patients finally being allowed to grow their own cannabis.
So first let’s take a look at Shoppers Drug Mart Corporation – which has 1,300 pharmacies throughout the country’s 10 provinces. Currently they are in negotiations with multiple marijuana producers in the country looking to strike a deal where they would sell “generically branded” marijuana products with their store brand collection of items.
“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.”
These stores are more or less the equivalent to a CVS or Walgreens here in the U.S. The reason for the sudden interest in selling medical marijuana products likely came as a result of a recent Supreme Court ruling allowing edibles to be used by medical marijuana patients. The products sold in the pharmacies will likely be restricted to oils and edibles rather than raw cannabis buds like you find in dispensaries across the states.
Of course, this is still all dependent on the pharmacy being approved with a distribution license from Health Canada and the Canadian government adjusting their distribution laws. It doesn’t seem like this is something the company is foreseeing as a problem however, so maybe there is already something in the works…
The other big news coming out of Canada right now is the fact that a federal judge has ruled that medical marijuana patients can grow their own cannabis. This was not allowed as a part of the 2013 law which requires patients to buy from a licensed producer.
The declaration has been suspended for six months in order for lawmakers to work out all the details involved in this new regulation – however an injunction which previously has allowed a limited number of authorized patients to grow cannabis will remain in effect until the six months is up.
There are a lot of good things happening for Canadians right now in the world of marijuana legalization – hopefully they will have all the kinks worked out for their medical program soon, allowing them to focus on bringing the right approach to recreational legalization.