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Loblaws Could Soon Sell Medical Marijuana

In addition to your groceries, dry cleaning, and clothing, you could also grab your weed at Loblaws.

Now that’s the definition of a one-stop shop.

During a shareholders’ meeting in Toronto on Thursday, May 3, Galen G. Weston – the head of Canada’s largest grocery and pharmacy chain – revealed he wanted in on the medical marijuana action.

As we recently reported when we checked out some of Toronto’s dispensaries, the marijuana movement is here – and it doesn’t look like it’s going to burn out anytime soon.

Weston echoed the sentiment of many influential voices, saying that pharmacists were capable of dispensing medical marijuana in a safe and responsible manner.

“We’re an industry that is extremely effective at managing controlled substances,” said Weston following the company’s annual general meeting Thursday. “It gives pharmacists the opportunity to work directly in real time with patients as opposed to doing it through the mail, working on their doses and making sure it actually has the therapeutic effect that it is intended to have.”


Weston says that the current mail system – where patients are sent the drug from a licensed producer – isn’t flawed but that patients would be able to receive more consultation if the dispensing was done face-to-face. If given the green light from Ottawa, Loblaws would be open to dispensing medical marijuana in all forms at all their Shoppers Drug Mart and grocery pharmacy locations. This includes a total of 1,700 pharmacies.

The company isn’t directly lobbying the federal government on the issue, but is supporting the Canadian Pharmacists Association in its effort to highlight a “lack of clinical oversight” in the use of medical cannabis if pharmacies don’t play a ‘front-line role” in dispensing the marijuana.

Photo – Earth Med

Of course, this isn’t entirely novel news. As you may recall, back in February Shoppers Drug Mart already announced plans to sell medical marijuana.

Covering his bases, Weston was careful to say that Loblaws is focused only on the distribution of marijuana for medical use, not recreational use. All the medical marijuana activity comes amid plans by the Trudeau government to draft legislation that would legalize marijuana for recreational use (something Kathleen Wynne has suggested the LCBO should sell).

While the future of weed remains to be seen, one thing is for sure: this budding industry is all the buzz right now.


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