Shoppers drug mart has revealed that it plans to phase out its medical cannabis business over the next three months and hand it over to Toronto’s Avicanna Inc. (TSX: AVCN) (OTCQX: AVCNF) (FSE: 0NN).
The pharmacy chain owned by Loblaw Companies Limited (TSX: L) announced the development on Tuesday and plans to continue supporting patients while its assets and services are being transferred over to Avicanna in the coming weeks.
As part of the transition, Avicanna will be introducing the new medical cannabis care site MyMedi.ca. Registration for the new platform will be opening this May and the site will have a series of patient support programs led by pharmacists.
Medical Cannabis by Shoppers has been providing patients with merchandise from major brands such as Broken Coast, Tilray Brands Inc.’s (NASDAQ: TLRY) (TSX: TLRY) Aphria and The Green Organic Dutchman Holdings Ltd. (CSE: TGOD) (OTC: TGODF) for the past four years.
Patients will be able to access a similar product portfolio through MyMedi.ca along with an array of training and patient education programs and specific services for specialized groups like Veterans.
“As we move away from medical cannabis distribution, we remain firm in our belief that this medication should be dispensed in pharmacies like all others and will continue our advocacy to that end,” said Jeff Leger, President of Shoppers Drug Mart.
“We are motivated towards furthering the work started by Shoppers to create Canada’s leading independent, comprehensive medical cannabis platform and continuing our efforts towards advancing access to medical cannabis and its long-term incorporation into the standard of care,” added Aras Azadian, CEO of Avicanna.
In January and February this year, Avicanna’s Colombian subsidiary Santa Marta Golden Hemp S.A.S. completed its first shipment of feminized cannabis seeds to Spain and the company expanded its partnership with Viola Brands from Canada into the United Kingdom.
Loblaw’s completed its acquisition of Shoppers Drug Mart for $12.4 billion in 2014, acquiring approximately 1,200 locations at the time.
Avicanna’s stock shot up by 18.42 per cent on Tuesday to $0.45 and Loblaw’s stock rose by 1.19 per cent to $120.13 on the Toronto Stock Exchange.