London Drugs, other major retailers look into selling medical marijuana

Pharmacies considering selling legal medical marijuana
WATCH: Major players in the pharmacy business say they'll be lining up for the opportunity to sell medical marijuana as access to the drug expands. Jordan Armstrong explains.

In Vancouver there are more pot shops than Starbucks.

Many marijuana dispensaries are successful, but technically illegal, which is why established retailers have avoided getting into the pot game.

But with a new federal government that has a more relaxed approach to marijuana, the rules around pot are expected to change. If they do, large retailers like London Drugs are ready to go green.

“We’ve been looking at this for a number of years now,” London Drug’s John Tse said. “Probably five or six years ago we started looking at what happens if it becomes legal.”

READ MORE: Court rules patients can grow own medical marijuana

Shoppers Drug Mart and the union representing liquor store workers have also expressed interest in selling marijuana when Ottawa gives the green light.

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So where would London Drugs get the marijuana?

“We would obtain it from licensed producers,” Tse said. “Currently there are 20-plus licensed producers in Canada — all inspected, approved and managed by Health Canada.”

Tse says his pharmacists will be trained on how to handle marijuana.

“We will fill it as a normal prescription so that we create a profile, we know exactly who the patient is, we’ll check their medication history, any kind of risk factors and then provide the product.”

– With files from Jordan Armstrong