auroro cannabis

Aurora Cannabis & Shoppers Drug Mart deal latest of many between pharmacies & LP’s

Aurora Cannabis has joined the growing list of licensed producers who will supply Shoppers Drug Mart with medical cannabis, pending Health Canada’s approval of Shoppers’ application to dispense medical cannabis, of course.

Other licensed producers that have signed on with Shoppers Drug Mart include Aphria, who landed a five-year deal with Shoppers back in December 2017. At the time, Aphria’s CEO Vic Neufeld said they would be Shoppers’ “first and primary supplier”, and there has been no word yet if Aphria’s “first and primary” status has changed in light of the Aurora deal.

In addition to Aphria and Aurora Cannabis, Shoppers Drug Mart has also inked deals with Tilray and Medreleaf, but Shoppers is far from the only pharmacy to partner with licensed producers.

Pharmachoice and Lovell Drugs

Pharmachoice has signed an agreement with CanniMed, and Lovell Drugs signed with Maricann Group, but unlike the Shoppers Drug Mart deal with Aurora Cannabis, Pharmachoice and Lovell Drugs have made their respective licensed producers their exclusive suppliers.

Right now, Lovell Drugs may be regretting their pick for exclusive supplier given that Maricann Group is currently under investigation by the Ontario Securities Commission for insider trading.

Will Aurora Cannabis become Pharmachoice’s exclusive LP?

What’s particularly interesting is CanniMed’s exclusive supplier deal with Pharmachoice since Aurora Cannabis is acquiring CanniMed, and the take-over just received final regulatory approval February 28th. So what will happen now?

Whether this means Aurora Cannabis will be supplying Shoppers Drug Mart and also take over as Pharmachoice’s exclusive LP remains to be seen.

How big is Canada’s pharmacy industry?

According to the National Association of Pharmacy Regulatory Authorities, Canada has 10,947 licensed pharmacies. Shoppers, Canada’s largest pharmacy chain, has 1,310 locations across the country, while Pharmachoice has 750 pharmacies in its member-owned co-op.

It’s worth keeping in mind that Aurora Cannabis is the second largest LP and Shoppers Drug Mart is Canada’s largest pharmacy chain, and in the frenzy of LP acquisitions and supply agreements, many are worried that a few big companies will end up controlling the cannabis industry.

Featured image courtesy of the Georgia Straight.


Cision: Aphria enters into supplier agreement with Shoppers Drug Mart.

Cision: Aurora Cannabis Announces Final Regulatory Approval for CanniMed Therapeutics Acquisition.

CTV News: Shoppers Drug Mart signs marijuana supply deal with Aurora Cannabis.

Financial Post: Aphria to supply medical marijuana to Shoppers Drug Mart.

National Association of Pharmacy Regulatory Authorities: National Statistics.

Smallcap Power: Aurora Cannabis Shoppers Drug Mart Deal Could Signal Cutthroat Competition Ahead.