Retailer has signed supply agreements with 12 cannabis producers.
TORONTO — Shoppers Drug Mart has expanded its online platform for the sale of medical cannabis to include Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island (PEI), New Brunswick, Newfoundland, Labrador, Manitoba, Saskatchewan and British Columbia. The service breaks down existing barriers for patients by providing convenient access to a broader range of options through a single source, alongside expert advice and counsel from trusted health care professionals.
According to Statistics Canada, over 1.1 million Canadians use cannabis for medical purposes, but more than 800,000 patients are self-medicating with recreational or illegal cannabis, without the guidance of a healthcare professional. In Nova Scotia, 15,072 people obtain their medical cannabis through the legal system, but the patient population is likely much larger. The high rate of self-medicating is concerning as a 2019 survey found that 76% of medical cannabis patients wrongly believe there are no side effects from combining cannabis with other medications.
The study also found that in New Brunswick, 8,724 people obtain their medical cannabis through the legal system, but the patient population is also probably much larger.
“Canadians continue to use cannabis for medical purposes but many have been left behind by traditional models. Patients need more convenient access to their medicine with professional oversight and trusted support,” said Jeff Leger, president, Shoppers Drug Mart. “We expanded Medical Cannabis by Shoppers nationally to provide enhanced service to more patients so they can feel empowered to access medical cannabis through the medical market with the guidance of healthcare professionals.”
First launched in Ontario in January 2019 and then in Alberta in April 2019, Medical Cannabis by Shoppers provides patients access to a number of products from Canadian licensed producers, shipped directly and discreetly to their doorstep. Additionally, support is available for patients through the Shoppers cannabis care centre – a call center staffed by professionals who offer counseling and support for patients. Under current regulations, pharmacists cannot dispense medical cannabis from a pharmacy.
Patients in PEI for example, can now obtain their medical document (authorization from a health care practitioner) directly from shoppersdrugmart.ca/cannabis
Education for pharmacists is supported by the Shoppers Drug Mart Medical Advisory Board, a panel of independent medical experts from across the country who provide guidance and advice on new clinical evidence, and have developed clinical algorithms to help the Shoppers cannabis care Advisors select the correct strain based on the prescriber’s recommendation.
For patients who do not have access to a healthcare practitioner, Shoppers can connect patients to a licensed physician or nurse practitioner to assess whether a patient is an ideal candidate for medical cannabis. Shoppers can connect patients to healthcare practitioners through an online telemedicine portal or patients can use the Shoppers Clinic Finder at https://cannabis.
Shoppers has signed supply and quality agreements with 12 cannabis producers to provide a wide variety cannabis brands and medical accessories with the convenience of one medical document.