Ontario agency drops opposition to medical cannabis sales in pharmacies

The agency that regulates pharmacies in Canada’s largest province dropped its opposition to the distribution of medical cannabis in drug shops this month, eradicating a key hurdle that may finally lead to a a lot bigger accessible marketplace for MMJ.

The Ontario College of Pharmacists now says “it does not oppose any federal or provincial legislation that would permit the dispensing of non-smoked forms of cannabis for medical use within pharmacies.”

“What Ontario has done is a significant step forward towards dispensing medical cannabis through pharmacies, although a lot of work still needs to be done at the provincial and federal level,” stated Deepak Anand, vice chairman of presidency relations for the consultancy Cannabis Compliance.

However, he famous the agency might have gone too far in banning smoked medical cannabis, which he calls a “major challenge” as most army veterans eat flamable MMJ.

At the federal degree, enabling in-pharmacy sales is just not anticipated till after laws for edibles and concentrates are unfolded in 2019.

Allowing in-pharmacy distribution of medical cannabis might increase affected person progress, which has been declining because the second quarter of 2016.

Ontario is residence to about 40% of Canada’s 270,000 registered sufferers.

James O’Hara of the Waterloo-based nonprofit Canadians for Fair Access to Medical Marijuana expects in-pharmacy sales to enormously broaden entry, and subsequently sales, of medical cannabis.

“If it becomes available in pharmacies, it’s more normalized and accepted as a medicine,” he stated. “Patients have a trusted relationship with their pharmacist, and they want to extend that relationship to include medical cannabis.”

Separately, sources say Health Canada plans to add phytocannabinoids to the Prescription Drug List, which analysts say in an essential step for pharmacy distribution as a result of it might permit medical cannabis corporations to apply for a pseudo-drug identification quantity (Pseudo DIN) or PIN.

“That’s significant because pharmacies would really like having a Pseudo DIN or PIN before they can start to dispense medical cannabis,” Anand stated.

The addition applies to medical cannabis and can take impact Oct. 17.

Matt Lamers could be reached at [email protected]

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