On Dec. 5, 2016, the Toronto Board of Health passed a motion to recommend that Canada’s federal government approve pharmacies to dispense medical marijuana.
The recommendation asks Federal Minister of Health Jane Philpott and Attorney General of Canada Jody Wilson-Raybould to amend Canada’s regulations immediately to permit pharmacies to dispense medical marijuana to qualified patients as a means providing safe access for patients and thwarting illegal dispensaries.
“In Toronto, our police are struggling to manage the real danger of illegal dispensaries. As more and more of these criminal operations open, patients and residents are increasingly confused and put at risk,” said Councillor Christen Carmichael Greb in a letter on the board’s recommendation.
“Over 400,000 Canadians use cannabis for medical and, not recreational purposes. However, it has been reported that fewer than 10% of Canadians who use medical marijuana today obtain it through legal channels,” Greb added.
The Toronto Board of Health has forwarded the recommendation to Bill Blair, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, and Canada’s Task Force on Cannabis Legalization and Regulation.
The Canadian Pharmacists Association previously announced on April 7 that the federal government should allow pharmacies to dispense medical marijuana, and nearly one month later, Loblaw (OTC:LBLCF), Canada’s biggest grocery and drugstore chain, also announced that it believes pharmacies should be allowed to dispense medical marijuana.
In regards to the spread of illegal dispensaries, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau recently gave municipalities a reminder, saying, “You can enforce the law.”