Pharmacies best at selling medical pot: group
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Feb 25, 2016  |  Vote 0    3

Pharmacies best at selling medical pot: group

TORONTO — Pharmacies are best equipped to dispense medical marijuana given their expertise in prescription drug management, says a national group that represents some of the country's biggest drugstores.

"(Our) members are really in the right position to manage the distribution and patient access," Allan Austin, a spokesman for the Neighbourhood Pharmacy Association of Canada, said Wednesday.

"Pharmacists are experts in medication and medication management. Our members have the systems and processes in place to manage medications including monitoring, tracking usage, being aware of drug interactions."

The association's members include London Drugs, I.D.A. and Rexall.

Shoppers Drug Mart also weighed in on the issue Wednesday with a similarly phrased statement.

"Pharmacists are medication experts and play a significant role in the dispensing and monitoring of medication to ensure safe and optimal use," company spokeswoman Tammy Smitham said in an email.

"We believe that dispensing medical marijuana through pharmacy, like other medications, is the safest option."

Canada's largest drugstore chain made the comments after the Globe and Mail, citing unnamed sources, reported that Shoppers is looking at the possibility of selling medical marijuana.

The Globe reported that Shoppers, which is owned by Loblaw (TSX:L), has held several meetings with medical marijuana producers and suppliers over the past year.

Smitham would not confirm such meetings have taken place.

She said Health Canada regulations stipulate that the only legal method to obtain medical marijuana is through a licensed producer, and therefore, pharmacies are not permitted to dispense medical marijuana.

Marc Gobuty, founder and CEO of Peace Naturals Project, a producer licensed by Health Canada to grow medical marijuana, said he has met with some major drugstore chains but would not say which ones.

Gobuty said there's been interest by the drugstore chains to dispense medical marijuana because offering infused oils is now a "viable option." He said he spoke with the companies about a supply agreement, but their offer was of no interest to his company.

Last year, the Supreme Court ruled that medical marijuana users can legally use various forms of the drug, including oils.

The Canadian Pharmacists Association reiterated its position that it is concerned about the health effects of marijuana, saying Wednesday that a statement it issued in November still stands.

"In addition, the pharmacy community is increasingly concerned about patient safety and clinical oversight regarding the use of medical marijuana," the statement says.

"As such, CPhA is currently reviewing its existing policies to ensure its policy position regarding pharmacist dispensing of medical marijuana reflects patient safety in this evolving area."

By Linda Nguyen, The Canadian Press

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(12) Comment

By B | FEBRUARY 27, 2016 12:15 PM
@Peril. The Liberals want to make pot a big business - there are companies already set up in Toronto with grow facilities standing idle waiting for Justin who they financially supported in the election to sayGO !
By B | FEBRUARY 27, 2016 12:13 PM
Buying it at the drug store make a hell of a lot more sense then the LCBO - but then again the government will never do it because they want the Branding of the LCBO to just become more valuable with guaranteed pot distribution liscensing.
By quitter | FEBRUARY 26, 2016 10:07 AM
these articles are the best because it shows how ignorant and uneducated people really are. It also shows how many people dont actually have a real opinion of there own rather just spouting off what they once "heard" legal or not legal pot is here to stay folks!
By Perilaxe | FEBRUARY 25, 2016 09:57 AM
Gee Matt, I would love to see the source data on your statement that cannabis is at least as bad as tobacco. I am unaware of any link between cancer and cannabis at all. I am also unaware of any physical addiction issues associated with weed. It kinda sounds like you have no clue what you are talking about which is par for the course in these forums.
By Roy | FEBRUARY 25, 2016 09:55 AM
@Matt: Apparently you know more than the dozens of scientists who have proved that pot doesn't cause lung cancer and may even help fight it. And pot vaporizers are not cigarette vapes. They are two entirely different devices. But thanks for sharing...
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