On Tuesday, Shoppers Drug Mart announced that it had brought its medical cannabis platform to multiple provinces across the country, including Nova Scotia, PEI, New Brunswick, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Newfoundland and Labrador, and British Columbia.
Cannabis by Shoppers, the brand’s online portal, initially rolled out in Ontario in January, before expanding to Alberta in April. The site allows for existing medical cannabis patients who have obtained a Medical Document — cannabis is not prescribed but rather is authorized by a medical professional — to order through its web portal and helps those without to obtain one.
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“Canadians continue to use cannabis for medical purposes but many have been left behind by traditional models. Patients need more convenient access to their medicine with professional oversight and trusted support,” said Jeff Leger, president of Shoppers Drug Mart, in a press release. “We expanded Medical Cannabis by Shoppers nationally to provide enhanced service to more patients so they can feel empowered to access medical cannabis through the medical market with the guidance of healthcare professionals.”
The company points to recent StatsCanada data that suggests there is an estimated 1.1 million medical cannabis users in the country and that 800,000 of those are both self-diagnosed and self-medicated. Another 2019 survey found that “76% of medical cannabis patients wrongly believe there are no side effects from combining cannabis with other medications.”
Non-registered users are still able to browse the site’s online selection of cannabis products, which currently includes oils, capsules, and dried flower.
Obtaining a Medical Document through Shoppers is done online through HelloMD, a company that connects cannabis users to medical professionals. Applicants answer some basic questions about their conditions, submit ID, and then consult with a doctor through video chat.