Shoppers Drug Mart received a federal stamp of approval from Health Canada to sell medical cannabis on Friday (September 21)—but consumers won’t be able to buy weed with their hair dye and toothpaste anytime soon.
The Canadian drug store received its license via its new parent company—Loblaw Companies Ltd.
In accordance with the Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations (ACMPR) guidelines, trained pharmacists will be on site to consult medically approved patients on product selection and titration. Consumers will then receive their prescribed cannabis in the mail.
With this level of federal approval, Shoppers can distribute medicinal cannabis, however the company has said it has no interest in growing any weed.
Shoppers applied in October 2016 to become a licensed medical cannabis producer (LP). Over the last few months, the company has signed supply deals with several Canadian (LPs) in various provinces, including Tilray Inc., Aurora Cannabis, Aphria Inc., and MedReleaf Corp.—all contingent on receiving a license.
In July, Manulife Financial Corp. also partnered with Shoppers Drug Mart to create medical insurance coverage for registered cannabis consumers.
“As trusted medication experts, we believe pharmacists have an important role to play in the safe and informed use of medical cannabis, and this is the first step in our journey to provide medical cannabis to our patients,” writes Loblaw spokeswoman Catherine Thomas in an email release.
“We will share more information about our plans in the coming weeks.”