TORONTO — Canada’s Lovell Drugs has entered into a definitive agreement with Maricann Group Inc. to be the exclusive supplier of medicinal cannabis to its pharmacies.
Maricann said that Lovell has begun dispensing medical marijuana to its patients, registering and filling its first medicinal cannabis prescription registered and fulfilled on Dec. 1.
The drug chain — with 12 retail pharmacy locations in Oshawa, Whitby, Kingston and Cornwall, Ontario — had signed a letter of intent with Maricann last month. The supply agreement runs four years, with an option to extend another three years if the parties mutually agree.
In partnership with Maricann, Lovell is implementing a medical cannabis education and access program for its pharmacists and allied community physicians that facilitates the counseling and fulfillment of medical cannabis to patients. Maricann said it will fulfill prescriptions directly to Lovell patients via the existing Access to Cannabis for Medicinal Purposes Regulations.
“Pharmacists’ expert understanding of polypharmacy equips them as the standard of care for all patients. We believe that our medical cannabis initiative to distribute cannabis directly to patients, with pharmacists as their primary source of counseling and information is the better way,” Maricann chief executive officer Ben Ward said in a statement.
Maricann noted that Lovell’s pharmacists are trusted health care professionals, providing services such as clinic days, MedsChecks, blood pressure tests and now cannabis education counseling and information to patients.
“Until pharmacists are permitted to distribute cannabis products to patients directly, as is the case with all other pharmaceuticals, we believe this distribution model will provide an effective interim solution,” Ward added.
Under the agreement, Lovell will receive a percentage of Maricann product sales generated from patients acquired and serviced through its retail pharmacies, according to Maricann. And as part of the development of medical cannabis content, Maricann has agreed to provide funding of up to $15,000 for initiatives to support continuing education for Lovell staff and patients.