London Drugs is looking to be on the forefront of medical marijuana dispensing once Ottawa legalizes it.
Vice-president of London Drugs John Tse said that the pharmacy has already begun training to pharmacists to dispense marijuana as soon as regulations are in place. The federal government is expected to introduce legislation on both medical and recreational marijuana in the spring but Tse – who notes that London Drugs is only interested in the medical side – foresees a longer wait time than that before it comes to pharmacy shelves.
“After the legislation comes out there’s still the regulation…. and then there’s provincial governments and each of our colleges of pharmacists need to write regulations to operationalize it,” said Tse.
“We’ll be as fast as the laws allow… but it could happen overnight, we’re that ready.”
London Drugs began training their pharmacists to dispense marijuana nine months ago, Tse said, but noted that how dispensing would work would depend on official word from Ottawa. Shoppers Drug Mart has already announced intentions to dispense medical marijuana.
“We’re interested from the perspective of how does it affect other medication the patient might be on and other health conditions they might have,” Tse said. “As a pharmacy we want it all documented properly so that we can advise patients and other health care professionals.”
Medical marijuana is already legal in Canada but it cannot be sold at a storefront. Some doctors do prescribe it but Tse said that its benefits aren’t well studied.