Fresh on the heels of Shoppers Drug Mart and Loblaw Companies Ltd. making a formal bid to dispense medical marijuana, most Canadians are giving the move a thumbs up.

Last month the drugstore chain confirmed it had applied to Health Canada to become a licensed producer of the drug — but only for the purpose of distributing it.

Now a new poll conducted by Forum Research for the Toronto Star last week found that 61 per cent of respondents approve of the plan, while 30 per cent want the drugstore chain to butt out and the remainder have no opinion.

Read: Medical questions, regulations create confusion for medical pot coverage

Recent cannabis users, naturally, were most supportive with 85 per cent approving of the company’s plan. Those aged 18 to 34 were the second most supportive of Shoppers getting into the pot business, with 76 per cent in favour. The wealthiest Canadians (earning between $100,000 to $250,000 a year) rounded out the top three, with 71 per cent approving of the plan.

In terms of regional support, the Atlantic provinces were most in favour at 72 per cent followed by British Columbia at 67 per cent.

The biggest buzz kills were those 65 and over and Bloc Québécois supporters. Only 37 per cent of Canadians in those segments support the pharmacy giant selling the drug. Conservative voters were the third least supportive at just 41 per cent approval.

Despite strong support for the application, 62 per cent said they would not change their store visitation habits if Shoppers gets its way.

“It is clear that Canadians are as enthusiastic about seeing medical marijuana in the nation’s leading pharmacy chain as they are about legalization in general — in other words, very enthusiastic,” Forum Research president Lorne Bozinoff told the Star.

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Currently, federal regulations only allow registered patients to buy cannabis directly from licensed producers, who send the product to clients by mail.

That means that even if Shoppers Drug Mart’s application is approved, Canada’s largest pharmacy chain won’t be permitted to sell medical marijuana through its stores unless Ottawa revises the rules.

This article was originally published on Benefits Canada‘s companion site,

Copyright © 2020 Transcontinental Media G.P. Originally published on

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