London-Area Pot Producer Signs Supply Deal With Shoppers
A Southwestern Ontario pot producer has signed a contract to supply Shoppers Drug Mart, becoming the smallest cannabis company to strike a partnership with the pharmacy chain.
WeedMD, an Aylmer-based medical marijuana producer that recently expanded into Strathroy, joins the ranks of Aphria, Tilray and MedReleaf – some of Canada’s largest growers – to land a high-profile supply deal with Shoppers.
“The bulk of the other producers that signed on with Shoppers are much larger than WeedMD,” chief financial officer Keith Merker said Friday.
“What it really provides is that good housekeeping stamp of approval on our business, on our quality assurance processes and, ultimately, on the quality and consistency.”
While Shoppers has been busy signing supply deals with cannabis companies – six have been announced – the Loblaw-owned company is still awaiting approval from Health Canada to distribute prescription pot.
Only licensed medical marijuana producers can sell and distribute cannabis directly to registered patients through online orders shipped by mail.
The head of a marijuana business association questions why the Shoppers’ deals are being announced before the pharmacy has the greenlight to distribute medical cannabis.
“They’re promises to do something if a thing happens,” said Ian Dawkins, president of the Cannabis Commerce Association of Canada, a national trade association that represents marijuana-related businesses.
Merker wouldn’t disclose the details of WeedMD’s supply agreement with Shoppers
“We’ve got big, big expectations for the medical market,” he said, noting Shoppers officials have toured WeedMD’s facilitates.
A public-traded company with 70 employees, WeedMD has operated an 8,000-square-metre facility on the former Imperial Tobacco site in Aylmer since 2016. The company recently expanded with a greenhouse in Strathroy, where it expects to harvest its first crop in September.
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