Shoppers Drug Mart has confirmed that it is pausing its Compassionate Care Program for medical cannabis clients.
Following reports from patients, a representative for Loblaws—the company that owns Shoppers— has confirmed with StratCann that they have paused any new applications and will be reducing their current discount under the Compassionate Care Program from 20% to 10%.
According to a Loblaws representative, the change is due to “considerable increases in costs and ongoing industry challenges” that have forced the company to revisit its discount program.
Shoppers’ Compassionate Care Program is accessible to registered medical cannabis clients who have an annual income below $30,000 or who have already qualified for any one of several provincial or federal programs such as disability benefits under the Canada Pension Plan, Old Age Security, War Veterans Allowance, and many others.
“We remain committed to providing our patients with excellent medical cannabis products and a wide assortment at an affordable price,” says a Loblaw public relations agent. “At this time, the new 10% discount can be stacked on top of frequent product sales and price drops for added savings. If this change in eligible discount requires patients to adjust their preferred product or format, our Shoppers® Cannabis Care advisors are trained to help them select the best medicine to match their medical needs and budget.”
The representative also notes that Shoppers plans on working with their supplier partners to provide other selected products with a 20% discount. Medical Cannabis by Shoppers lists hundreds of different cannabis products from dozens of producers starting as low as around $3 a gram for dried flower.
“We apologize for any inconvenience. It is through these hard decisions we will continue to find ways to meet the healthcare needs of Canadians. Also, we are working with our brand partners closely and will be providing select products to maintain a 20% discount for Compassionate Care patients. These selections will be announced at a later date.”
Individuals who are authorized to access cannabis for medical purposes can sign up with a provider like Shoppers and gain access to different producer products under one single authorization.