Shoppers Drug Mart formally applies to distribute medical marijuana

Did you know that Canada’s largest pharmacy chain, Shoppers Drug Mart, has now formally applied to distribute medical marijuana? According to this trending CBC News article, they have no plan to start cultivating marijuana in the near future; however, they have sent in the application with the intent of using their license to fill customers’ prescriptions. They also plan to offer pharmacist counselling to clients regarding the drug, just as they already do with a myriad of other medications. Medical marijuana is a promising natural medicine that can help patients alleviate chronic pain as well as treat symptoms of epilepsy, colitis, and multiple sclerosis, to name a few. Soon, it will be legally and readily-available for all Canadians needing it for medical reasons, providing they have a prescription.

But, would you fill your medical marijuana prescription at Shopper’s Drug Mart? This move has been somewhat controversial amongst Canadians, particularly tried-and-true Shoppers Drug Mart shoppers, who will need some time to get accustomed to the idea. Some Canadian citizens aren’t quite ready for the drug’s legalization, and it will take some time for its street-drug reputation to wear off. Currently, medical marijuana is illegal federally – unless it is being cultivated and dispensed by government-licensed parties, but new legislation concerning its legalization is currently being finalized. When purchasing medical marijuana, a patient must supply the licensed dispenser with an official prescription notice, signed by a legitimate medical practitioner. As of June 2016, more than seventy-five thousand Canadians were using genuine prescriptions and were able to access medical marijuana. Mathematically speaking, that works out to approximately one gram of cannabis per patient each day. The Canadian government is also considering the possibility of legalizing marijuana for recreational use; however, marijuana distribution will continue to be strictly regulated.

Founded in Toronto in 1962 by pharmacist Murray Koffler, Shopper’s Drug Mart is one of the largest and longest-standing pharmacy chains to ever exist in Canada. Koffler’s vision was to create a nation-wide pharmacy organization without compromising the “local dispensary” atmosphere that Canadians knew and loved. Back in the day, you could just walk into your local pharmacy and your pharmacist would know you by name, know all of your medical complaints, as well as your family’s. You trusted your pharmacist’s advice on what medications would work best for you and your children. Today, Canadians have been shopping at Shopper’s Drug Mart for over 55 years, even though the company has changed hands. Currently owned by Loblaws, and, with over twelve hundred stores across the country, Shopper’s is going strong. In Quebec, Pharmaprix is also owned by the Shopper’s Drug Mart chain. One of its secrets of longevity is its ability to keep up with the times while still maintaining an old-fashioned set of values – including that “friendly neighbourhood pharmacist” ambiance, dedicated to service. The company’s current move to secure medical marijuana distribution rights is part of that philosophy. With the legalization of medical marijuana on the horizon, it is simply a logical move forward in its mission to stay current. Pharmacies already handle a long list of controlled substances, so why not medical marijuana? The fact that marijuana was being sold by a legitimate drug store chain would also lend more credibility to the natural medicine, itself – making it less controversial in the long run.

This informative, trending article on medical marijuana and Shopper’s Drug Mart’s application to dispense it comes from the CBC news website, where you can find all of the top Canadian News stories as well as other hot topics trending in Canada right now. You can also check out their opinion, world, politics, business, health, entertainment, technology, science, and video sections for more specific newsworthy items.*

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