Skip to main content

The Globe and Mail

Shoppers Drug Mart applies to be medical marijuana distributor

Shoppers Drug Mart on Queen St. at Portland St. in downtown Toronto.

Gloria Nieto/The Globe and Mail

Shoppers Drug Mart says it has submitted an application to be a distributor of medical marijuana.

A spokeswoman says in an e-mail that the drug store chain has applied to Health Canada to become a licensed medical marijuana producer – but only for the purpose of distributing the drug.

Tammy Smitham says Shoppers has "no intention" of producing cannabis. The application is an administrative requirement to be able to distribute the drug.

Story continues below advertisement

However, even if Shoppers' application is granted, the retailer won't be permitted to dispense the drug through its stores unless the government updates the regulations.

Under the current regime, patients are only permitted to buy medical marijuana directly from licensed producers, who send it by mail.

Smitham says Shoppers is hopeful that Ottawa will consider updating the rules to allow pharmacies to play a role in distributing medical marijuana.

"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," Smitham said in an e-mail.

Shoppers Drug Mart is owned by Loblaw Companies Ltd.

Report an error
Comments

The Globe invites you to share your views. Please stay on topic and be respectful to everyone. For more information on our commenting policies and how our community-based moderation works, please read our Community Guidelines and our Terms and Conditions.

We’ve made some technical updates to our commenting software. If you are experiencing any issues posting comments, simply log out and log back in.

Discussion loading… ✨

Combined Shape Created with Sketch.

Combined Shape Created with Sketch.

Thank you!

You are now subscribed to the newsletter at

You can unsubscribe from this newsletter or Globe promotions at any time by clicking the link at the bottom of the newsletter, or by emailing us at privacy@globeandmail.com.