Now that CBD is more popular than ever and holistic medicines are growing in popularity, Rite Aid pharmacies are reportedly offering CBD and holistic options in their pharmacies.
According to CEO Heyward Donigan, pharmacists at Rite Aid can now advise customers on homeopathic alternatives to common, over-the-counter and prescription drugs. They are trained in holistic remedies and are encouraged to assist clients in finding alternative treatments that will go well with the medication they are taking over the counter or by prescription.
“They are really experts now, to consult with you about the tried and tested, worthwhile and then of course traditional medicine,” said Donigan.
Some of the most popular treatments available so far are melatonin, lavender, aromatherapy treatments, elderberry and zinc. And of course there is CBD, an important step forward for the chain. While they still don’t offer cannabis prescriptions or recreational sales and couldn’t legally do so, this is still one of the most cannabis-friendly moves any major pharmacy chain can take.
The surge in cannabis popularity, along with even more states medically legalizing and talking about federal legalization, is not going to be lost on Donigan. She explains that along with this move, the company is closely monitoring the development of legal cannabis.
Rite Aid isn’t alone when it comes to CBD
While cannabis in pharmacies of all kinds is new and exciting to the US, other countries have already made the leap. Ontario sells medical cannabis through the Canadian chain Shoppers Drug Mart. Patients approved for medical cannabis are required to submit documentation to be able to shop medicinally at the pharmacy, and recreational sales are still not available at pharmacies.
Under Health Canada regulations, the only legal way to sell medical cannabis is by mail order from licensed sellers to patients. Shoppers Drug Mart gets around this by obtaining a license to work with vendors and bring the drugs to their patients.
The chain began serving in the Ontario region back in 2018, two years after its initial application. It is now legal to sell products such as vape pens and other accessories through their online portal. You can also sell dried and fresh cannabis, seeds, plants, and oils to medical patients with proper documentation.
Germany is no stranger to the world of pharmacies and cannabis either. Under German law, pharmacies are a very important part of the supply chain as they are able to bring and even prescribe cannabis to their patients. This makes pharmacies the first line of supply for patients in the European country.
In fact, German pharmacists or pharmacists have a lot on their shoulders when it comes to medical cannabis as they act as a doctor, distributor, insurance company, and seller for those looking for drugs. Pharmacies in Germany are still more of the old school model where your family pharmacist helps meet many medical needs, and when it comes to the cannabis front they have risen straight up.
“I’ve followed the industry since then,” said Tobias Loder, one of the pharmacists in Germany who has been working with medical cannabis since 2014. “And of course I was even more interested when legal cannabis came to Germany. I love people. And I want to help you. The integration of cannabis into my pharmacy seemed to me to be a matter of course. I could see from the 1990s that the medicinal effects of cannabis were impressive. ”
As legal cannabis continues to open and expand in the U.S., the idea of pharmacies like Rite Aid selling either recreational or medicinal cannabis products seems less and less fetched. However, by that great day, having CBD in popular pharmacies is already a big step.
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