Neighbourhood Pharmacies represents Canada’s leading retail pharmacy brands who deliver high value and high-quality care to Canadians everywhere, including chain, banner, long-term care, and specialty pharmacies, as well as grocery stores and mass merchandisers with pharmacies.  Our members provide unsurpassed accessibility to medication management services and have a proven track record of optimal patient care wherever Canadians live, work, and play.  And it is for those reasons that we have consistently recommended that the federal Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations, or ACMPR, should be amended to allow pharmacists to dispense medical cannabis. 

Our members have made a safe and reliable system, in which medical and eventually recreational cannabis are distinct entities, a key health policy priority.  And we believe that Canada’s 10,000 pharmacies are the best positioned and most professional points of care, with the essential professional expertise and vital infrastructure — from sale, to distribution, to medication counselling and dispensing — to bring medical cannabis into its rightful therapeutic place in treatment in a patient-centric health care system.

In addition, Neighbourhood Pharmacies members want to ensure that the legislative and regulatory environment currently being developed for the legalization of cannabis for recreational purposes must be one that results in a safe distribution system that will prevent youth from accessing cannabis. We believe that the legalization process should have two distinct streams: one in which medicinal cannabis is dispensed to patients with conditions for which there is evidence of therapeutic benefit, and another in which cannabis for recreational purposes should be provided in a restricted and controlled pharmacy environment — to mitigate the potential for harmful usage among minors, and to minimize the major risks of consequences from cannabis interaction with other medications.