Pharmacy association makes U-turn on medical marijuana

The debate over legalization in Canada rolls on as one industry body changes its stance

Where do you stand on the debate over medical marijuana? One leading association has changed its stance by suggesting that pharmacies should be on the front-line when it comes to the dispensation of the drug.

According to a report at, the Canadian Pharmacists Association, which represents individual pharmacists, has updated its position as concerns have grown over what it describes as a “lack of clinical insight” over how the drug is used.

Now the group has issued a statement outlining that pharmacists could play a key role in how the drug is dispensed because they are experts in medication and they have the potential to identify problems related to addictive behaviour, as well as contraindications and drug interactions.

Meanwhile, the same report cities the Canadian Medical Cannabis Association as reiterating its stance on pharmacies not being the sole option for payments – and that they should also be able to call on the existing mail-order system. It believes that pharmacies would not be able to stock the necessary levels of marijuana needed and that it’s vital that patients have many different options in the strands available to them to ensure that they address their individual condition. quotes Colette Rivet from the CMCIA as stating that moving to pharmacies alone would increase costs, especially as cannabis is not covered on health insurance policies. She highlights that pharmacies had the chance to be part of distribution when regulations were introduced back in 2013 but they backed out claiming there was not sufficient evidence that the drugs have therapeutic effects.