Legalization of Drugs

Pharmacists join new Marijuana Taskforce

To ensure the health and safety of Canadians in the rapidly evolving marijuana environment, the Canadian Pharmacists Association (CPhA) looks forward to working with the Task Force on Marijuana Legalization and Regulation, announced today by the Government of Canada.


As front line primary health care providers, pharmacists are keenly aware of the potential health impacts of marijuana and the importance of putting in place an appropriate legislative and regulatory framework. In addition, pharmacists have considerable expertise in the management of controlled substances and CPhA looks forward to sharing some of these best practices with the Task Force as it gathers input from governments, Canadians and experts over the coming weeks and months.

“CPhA welcomes this new Task Force to advise the government on the design of a new legislative system,” said Phil Emberley, Director of Professional Affairs, Canadian Pharmacists Association. “As community health care providers, pharmacists play a significant role in counseling and screening for potential health issues and therefore it is important for us to ensure that we, along with other health care providers, play a key role in these consultations.”

CPhA recently released a policy position recommending that pharmacists play a front-line role in patient management and dispensing of medical marijuana to ensure that patients receive timely and appropriate access, education and clinical oversight.

As the Task Force begins its work, CPhA encourages it to thoroughly consider how legalization of recreational marijuana may impact the existing medical stream from a patient safety perspective. To aid the Task Force as it begins its work, CPhA recently commissioned a report that provides recommendations to ensure the differentiation between the medical and recreation marijuana streams, as well as advice from a health and safety perspective on a potential recreational market.

CPhA believes that ensuring public health and safety must be the priority for the Task Force. We look forward to working with the Task Force and all other health and patient stakeholders to achieve this goal.

About the Canadian Pharmacists Association

The Canadian Pharmacists Association (CPhA) is the uniting national voice of pharmacy and the pharmacist profession in Canada. As pharmacists undertake an enhanced role in the delivery of health care services, CPhA ensures that the profession is recognized as a national leader in health care, influencing the policies, programs, budgets and initiatives affecting the profession and the health of Canadians. More information is available at

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