Local dispensaries react to Shoppers Drug Mart’s move to distribute marijuana

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Shoppers Drug Mart has made a formal application to distribute medical marijuana.

Shoppers Drug Mart is the first major Canadian retailer to apply for a license to sell medical marijuana, which is causing strong reactions from local dispensaries.

Robin Hudson manager of the Healing Tree dispensary in Vancouver feels that what he calls “big pharma” shouldn’t have a place in the marijuana business. He thinks that the current dispensary model is working, and that legalization will come soon whether mainstream companies are involved or not. Hudson says “we don’t need big pharma’s help to legalize marijuana, not now, not ever.”

In a statement from Shoppers Drug Mart spokeswoman Tammy Smitham said,

“We believe that allowing medical marijuana to be dispensed through pharmacy would increase access, safety, quality and security for the thousands of Canadians who use the drug as part of their medication therapy. We are hopeful that the Government of Canada will embrace that opportunity for enhanced patient care.”

There are currently almost 40,000 legal prescriptions for medical marijuana in Canada but the increased access through major pharmacies has the potential to increase that number.  The only legal way for people to receive their medical marijuana currently is through the mail.