Any cannabis-containing product intended for therapeutic use that has the potential for harm or misuse requires some level of health oversight. Pharmacies are ideally positioned to provide this health oversight role for both Cannabis Health Products (CHPs) and Cannabis for Medical Purposes.
Regarding pharmacy's role in providing Cannabis Health Products , we believe:
- Cannabis Health Products (i.e., products containing an oral dose of cannabidiol between 20-200 mg/day with stated health claims) should be made available exclusively in pharmacies.
- Pharmacy teams have the expertise to counsel patients and ensure safety at CHP point-of-sale and can bring value in supporting public health and harm reduction.
- The pharmacy environment can accommodate the different levels of clinical oversight that may be required for CHP use.
- The wholesale pharmaceutical distribution system available to community pharmacies can be leveraged to support access to CHPs.
Regarding pharmacy's role in providing Cannabis for Medical Purposes, we believe:
- There is a continued need for a regulated pathway to access cannabis for medical purposes with appropriate health oversight that is distinct from access to cannabis for recreational purposes.
- To foster an effective medical stream that provide Canadians with convenient and equitable access to cannabis for medical purposes, we recommend that that Health Canada:
- Support the dispensing of cannabis for medical purposes through community pharmacies
- Promote the use of existing wholesale pharmaceutical distribution systems to supply community pharmacies with cannabis for medical purposes
- Support the ability of pharmacists to authorize cannabis for medical purposes