Pharmacy distributors want in on Canada's legalized marijuana regime


Published on April 19, 2017

OTTAWA — The federal government's plan to legalize recreational use of marijuana has many potential players eyeing how they can find a role in the landscape, including pharmaceutical distributors who already ship drugs across the country.

The Canadian Association for Pharmacy Distribution Management — a supplier of medicine for pharmacies and hospitals — says it has a ready-made, secure system for marijuana distribution far superior to mail-order pot.

CEO David Johnston says pharmaceutical distributors offer a more appropriate vehicle for the recreational marijuana market, noting they have a complex infrastructure in place already to handle recalls.

He says more discussions can unfold with federal and provincial officials now that the Liberal government has fired the starting gun by tabling its marijuana legislation last week.

Hundreds are expected to flock to Parliament Hill on Thursday for "Weed Day" celebrations — an annual, highly visible display of support for legal marijuana.

Ottawa says it intends to have an established regime for legalized marijuana by July 2018 but provincial and territorial governments will play a critical role on issues including licensing, distribution and retail sales.

The Canadian Press