The Neighbourhood Pharmacy Association of Canada applauds the Task Force on Marijuana Legalization and Regulation

TORONTO, Dec. 13, 2016 /CNW/ - The Neighbourhood Pharmacy Association of Canada (Neighbourhood Pharmacies) applauds the federal government's Task Force on Marijuana Legalization and Regulation (Task Force) for recognizing the need to preserve the system of medical cannabis separate from the recreational system.

In its report released today, the Task Force clearly noted Neighbourhood Pharmacies' proposition that medical cannabis is a serious drug and that Canadians expect that strength and packaging standards applied to prescription medications be applied to cannabis. 

"We're looking forward to meeting with provincial pharmacy regulatory authorities, the pharmacy community and lawmakers to shape retail rules," said Justin J. Bates, Chief Executive Officer, Neighbourhood Pharmacies. "We will continue to advocate for patient centric regulations that bring those using medical cannabis into the circle of care."

Neighbourhood Pharmacies is also pleased to see recommendations that retail sales should prohibit co-location of alcohol or tobacco with cannabis sales and that there should be limits to maintain appropriate distances from schools.

Consistent with our submission to the Task Force, we emphasize the importance of immediately including pharmacists and pharmacies in the current regulations to ensure that the highest level of safeguards and patient care are delivered. Over the coming months Neighbourhood Pharmacies will be encouraging federal and provincial lawmakers to enact legislation and regulations that ensure Canadians use medical marijuana as intended, and avoid adverse events.

"Collectively members of Neighbourhood Phamacies are a central part of Canada's health system, and a significant contributor to our economy – contributing $12.5 billion in economic value to Canada's healthcare system annually," continued Bates. "This is essential in preventing adverse drug reactions, operating an efficient supply chain, providing innovative drug therapies and lower-cost generic drugs, as well as compounding and compliance packaging to ensure patients take the right medications at the right time."

Pharmacies across Canada are uniquely placed to help the Government deliver on its commitment to legalize, regulate and restrict the use of cannabis in a safe and responsible manner.  

About the Neighbourhood Pharmacy Association of Canada

The Neighbourhood Pharmacy Association of Canada (Neighbourhood Pharmacies) is the respected voice and advocate for the business of pharmacy.  We represent the owners and operators of the country's leading Neighbourhood Pharmacies brands, serving Canadians through chain, banner and franchised neighbourhood pharmacies, as well as grocers and mass merchandisers with pharmacies.  We also represent the leading retail and banner buying groups serving independent pharmacies.  Pharmacy suppliers - including pharmaceutical manufacturers, technology companies, data specialists, marketing companies and consultants - also participate in the organization as associates.

SOURCE Neighbourhood Pharmacy Association of Canada

For further information: Anthony Silva, VP, Stakeholder Relations & Technology, asilva@neighbourhoodpharmacies.ca, 416-226-9100 ext. 4005

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www.neighbourhoodpharmacies.ca

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