Are pharmacists really a good option for dispensing medical marijuana? We’re not certain the pharmacy industry is ready (yet).
In August, Canadian Pharmacists’ Association (CPhA) created a Task Force that issued recommendations asking the government to allow pharmacies to dispense medical marijuana. Just this morning, Shopper’s Drug Mart (with 1,200 locations across Canada), announced it is formally applying for a license to distribute medical marijuana.
Despite the desire to manage a (lucrative) new drug segment, we’re not sure the pharmacy industry will be equipped with training to do so effectively. This lack of guidance has not stopped the Canadian Pharmacists’ Association from making a case on their members’ behalf. In their defense, they (rightly) point out that pharmacies are well-equipped to ensure security, protection of supply chains, proper storage of medication, restricting access, and establishing patient management and proper controls over the distribution and dispensing of medications and controlled substances. Their recommendations stand on less solid ground when dealing with the drug itself: “In addition to providing secure and safe access to medications, pharmacists have the necessary expertise to mitigate the potential risks associated with medical marijuana, including harmful drug interactions, contraindications, and potential addictive behavior.”
But this knowledge of marijuana’s risks, potential drug interactions, and contraindications does not exist. We do recognize that pharmacies may want “in” on the action. But we’re not convinced pharmacies, in general, or pharmacists, in particular, will add real value when compared to other retail options available.
Given this, we’d like feedback from this group: Should pharmacies get involved in dispensing medical marijuana?
New shop aims to be a hit
Owner sees nothing wrong with products
BY TODD W, HURMAN
Chad Wentworth believes his new business won’t go up in smoke.
In fact, he thinks it “will be quite the hit!”
Wentworth ‘s newest store, The Chad Smokeshop 420, located at 5001-49 Ave., opened last Wednesday with products that you won’t find anywhere else in town.
Besides claiming to have the cheapest cigarettes in Olds, Wentworth’s store is full of pipes of all shapes and sizes and materials glass, ceramic, wood, metal and even traditional Eastern-style hookahs or narghiles.
While many people might associate most of Wentworth’s products with marijuana, the 25-yea r-old said he isn’t worried because he isn’t doing anything illegal.
“There is always going to be disapproval, but I think once most people realize that we are not selling smokes and papers and stuff to people under 18, I don’t think parents will mind too much.
“There are also lots of people over 40 and 50 years- old that like this kind of stuff but don ‘t talk to other people about it,” Wentworth said.
He said if anyone comes in looking to buy drugs , he just points to a sign near the cash register that tells people not to even ask.
Originally from Athabasca, Wentworth moved to Olds about five years ago. He opened up Dad’s Collectibles last September – mostly to sell personal stock – but said it wasn’t quite what he wanted .
He sold his share in the business to his partner to focus on opening a smoke shop – an idea that has been in the works for the past two years.
With Red Deer being the nearest place to get the type of products Wentworth sells, “Plus the fact of having new college students coming to town every year, Olds is the right place for his type of store” he said.
“Olds is growing, if , don’t do it, someone else will ,” he said. “I want to carry stuff that you can’t find anywhere else. You don’t want to go to the city to buy and my prices are 20 to 70 percent cheaper than in Reel Deer. You save $20 on gas and you save $20 on your purchase.
“You can’t go wrong there.”
Aside from pipes and cigarettes, Wentworth also sells hooded sweatshirts and collectible knives. He also intends to eventually sell cigars as well.
Even though his store has just opened, Wentworth has plans to franchise out the name with his first one to open in Drumheller.
And while the shop doesn’t have a sign on it yet, Wentworth said it’s not to stay discreet, it’s been too cold to apply it to the window.