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ACP’s position statements on medical/recreational cannabis

ACP Council issued position statements on both cannabis for recreational use and cannabis for medical use, in anticipation of the decriminalization and legalization of cannabis.

Council recommended to Alberta’s Cannabis Secretariat that sites distributing recreational cannabis should not be permitted to use terms such as “dispensary” or pharmacy-related symbols such as the green cross, which could lead the public to believe the distribution site is a pharmacy or has professional oversight from pharmacy practitioners. 

ACP also reminded pharmacy professionals that the Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulation accommodates access to cannabis by individuals through the authorization of a physician or nurse practitioner. It does not authorize pharmacists or pharmacy technicians who work outside of a hospital to be in possession of cannabis. 

ACP encouraged pharmacists to discuss cannabis use when assessing individuals about their health and medication use, and to educate the public about the risks of cannabis. 

Meanwhile, until federal policies and legislation are amended to recognize and accommodate cannabis products as licensed drug products (i.e.: assigned a Drug Identification Number), ACP’s position is that they must not be stored, compounded, dispensed, administered, or sold from a licensed pharmacy. 

Still, ACP supports pharmacists and pharmacy technicians compounding and dispensing cannabis, as part of ethically approved, peer-reviewed health research designed to further our understanding about its potential therapeutic benefit, safety, and efficacy. 

ACP does not support the use of smokable cannabis products, which have potential to negatively impact health status, particularly respiratory health.