Licensed Producers Release Statement Saying Pharmacies Should Not Be Sole Source of Medical Cannabis Sales

The Canadian Medical Cannabis Industry Association, a group that represents the majority of licensed producers in Canada, released a statement against pharmacy organization proposals to serve as the distribution and point of sale for medical cannabis in the country.

“Pharmacy should not be the sole means for patients to receive their medical cannabis, since this would harm patient access, product choice and affordability,”the release reads.

The organization wrote that while they welcome changes to the MMPR that allow for pharmacy groups to enter into the cannabis market they don’t want them to replace the existing system that allows LPs to sell directly to patients.

“Distribution only via pharmacies would reduce access and product choice, and raise costs to patients, and could also increase the risk of diversion,” said CMCIA chair Neil Closner.

With cannabis reform on the horizon, groups like pharmacies, liquor retailers and others have proposed systems that allow them to sell medical or recreational cannabis.

The CMCIA’s statement made a point of mentioning how these other organizations have only recently appeared to be interested in the market.

“We are pleased pharmacy is now recognizing the valuable role medical cannabis plays in helping patients deal with chronic conditions, particularly since they chose not to participate in the medical cannabis system when the MMPR was introduced in 2013,” said CMCIA executive director Colette Rivet.

The Canadian Association of Pharmacy Distribution Management recently hired a lobbying firm to represent their interests on medical cannabis.