Canadian retail pharmacy chain Shoppers Drug Mart today launched a new e-commerce platform which will medical cannabis drugs on their portal. This is a first such portal to be launched which sells medical cannabis after the Canadian government lifted legal ban on commercial production of cannabis.
Just a month ago, Health Canada the country’s apex drug regulator awarded the pharmacy chain license to sell products like oil infusers and vaporizers online. The e-commerce portal will enable doorstep delivery of a number of products from licensed Canadian producers. The company has launched its services initially only for Ontario but soon it will be available all across the country.
Medical Cannabis products are new in the market and a lot of disinformation surrounds around its use and potential health benefits. Shoppers Drug Mart through launch of its Cannabis Care Centre wants to allay disinformation by its professional team of experts which will provide support and counselling to patients virtually. The e-commerce portal will ascertain rapid formalization of medical cannabis products with trusted support and professional oversight.
The process to access the products is a little bit different from regular e-commerce platform. Under current regulations offline pharmacies cannot sell cannabis drugs. The process to order the drugs will involve the patients approaching any nearby Shoppers drug mart in Ontario with proper medical documents like prescription. The Cannabis Care Centre’s specialized team of advisors will then review and process their medical history and current medication and will contact the concerned patient to provide support in strain selection and online registration.
The Shoppers Drug Mart has instituted a Medical Advisory Board, comprising of independent medical experts to advise and guide on selecting the correct strain-based drug according to the prescription. The board has also devised a complex set of clinical algorithms to pick the appropriate strain of drugs.
The retail chain is not in the business of producing cannabis, it instead has signed supply agreements with 10 licensed producers which include Tilray, WeedMD, Emblem, MedRelief, CanniMed, StarSeed, Aurora and Aphria.
In October last year, Canada became the first country in the world to form a legal, national marijuana marketplace. Ten American states along with Washington have legalized recreational use of cannabis and twenty three other states have legalized medical use of cannabis. Recent forecasts have predicted US sales of cannabis products to reach $80 billion by 2030. While regulatory control over cannabis is slackening, more and more companies including those in the beverage and medicine are partnering with cannabis producers to launch their products.
Shoppers Drug Mart is a Toronto-headquartered retail pharmacy chain with 1300 stores across nine provinces and two territories in Canada.