Another voice has been added to medical marijuana dispensing when Shoppers Drug Mart took steps to become a licensed producer (LP) in 2016. This would allow their pharmacies to dispense the drug and adds an air of credibility to the cannabis industry and is welcomed by others within the industry.
With the Liberal Government’s proposed legislation to legalize medical marijuana by 2018 Shoppers Drug Mart wants to join this new industry. The decision was reached by the drugstore chain accompanied by the following quoted reasons: so there is increased “ access, safety, quality and security for the thousands of Canadians who use the drug as part of their medical therapy.” Presently Shoppers Drug Mart has no plans to produce medical marijuana but instead wants to ability to dispense the product to patients along with counselling by the pharmacist.
Controversy is inevitable when it comes to pro legalization of the drug including what will be done for those currently convicted with possession or selling of the drug.This is where Shoppers Drug Mart’s application to produce the drug has a huge effect on removing some of the stigma attached to it. It sends the message to the public that this drug is no longer seen as an “ alternative “ or even a criminal drug.
One prominent myth surrounding marijuana is that it is a “ gateway “ drug and leads conservative thinking doctors to believe that a patient is going to smoke it for recreational use. A respectable company such as Shoppers Drug Mart goes a long way to achieving wider acceptance within the medical community as an acceptable treatment option for some patients.
Step in the Right Direction
While still early in the process it’s not yet apparent how Shoppers decision will affect anyone’s perception but goes a long way to decriminalizing the drug. Backing from such a well known franchise and company adds credibility to the use of medical marijuana to treat some patients and hopefully provide patients the opportunity to discuss this option with their physician.
Looking to the future it remains to be seen what impact the Liberal Government’s legislation and the addition of Shoppers application, in any, has to either empower or restrict patients wanting legal access to the drug.