Shoppers Drug Mart moves away from medical cannabis, will send patients to Avicanna

Toronto –

Shoppers Drug Mart is preparing to exit the medical cannabis business and move patients to a platform run by biopharmaceutical company Avicanna.

The pharmacy chain, owned by Loblaw Companies Ltd., announced the change on Tuesday, but we don’t know what prompted the change or how much Toronto-based Avicanna is paying Shoppers to refer patients to its platform. I didn’t clarify.

“We are grateful for the trust placed in us by medical cannabis patients over the past few years and are confident that we have found the right partner at Avicanna to continue to support them,” said Jeff Leger, president of Shoppers. statement.

His company began sending customers to Avicanna’s platform in early May, and plans to release all patients from Shoppers’ medical pot service by the end of July. Customers can place orders on his website at Shoppers during the transition period.

Avicanna said it would offer a similar range of products, including different formats, brands and “competitive prices.” Like Shoppers, the company’s online medical portal seeks to educate customers about Harm’s reduction and provide specialized services to specific patient groups like veterans.

Shopper first launched a medical cannabis business in Ontario in January 2019. This comes months after recreational cannabis was legalized in Canada (He legalized medical cannabis in Canada in 2001).

Instead, as the sector struggles with profitability and large numbers of recreational cannabis shops cluster in a few cities, many retailers and licensed producers cut prices to stay competitive. I needed it.

But Shoppers has amassed tens of thousands of patients in its four-year existence and provided access to cannabis from more than 30 brands, including Aphria Inc., Hexo Corp.’s Redecan, and Green Organic Dutchman.

Shopper medical cannabis patients were required to obtain a prescription from a licensed healthcare provider, such as a doctor, to order pot from the company that shipped the order to their home.

However, the company was unhappy that the medical pot regulations limited its models. Shoppers claimed Tuesday that the only drug not dispensed in pharmacies is medical cannabis.

“As we move further away from the distribution of medical cannabis, we are convinced that this drug should be dispensed in pharmacies like all others, and we will continue to advocate for that purpose,” Leger said. said.

Avicanna’s statement did not specify the company’s position on the matter, but the company’s chief executive said he was “motivated to be committed to advancing medical cannabis and incorporating it into standard care.” “There are.”

Avicanna CEO Aras Azadian said in a statement: “We are grateful to have been chosen to partner in this transition and are pleased to introduce to support our patients and provide them with continued care. I look forward to what I can do.

This report by the Canadian Press was first published on March 28, 2023.

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