August 14, 2019
Shoppers Drug Mart Successfully Completes Phase 1 of its Medical Cannabis Verification Pilot Program
TORONTO, Aug. 14, 2019 /CNW/ - Shoppers Drug Mart ("Shoppers") today announced the successful completion of Phase 1 of its blockchain-secured pilot program (the "Pilot Program") with software partner TruTrace Technologies Inc. (CSE: TTT; OTCQB: TTTSF) ("TruTrace"). The Pilot Program is specifically designed to increase transparency, interoperability and product identification within the medical cannabis industry. Shoppers has now engaged TruTrace and Deloitte Canada LLP ("Deloitte") to execute Phase 2 of the Pilot Program, with full production and implementation of TruTrace's StrainSecure platform targeted for late November 2019.
Phase 2 of the Pilot Program, using Deloitte's project management and advisory capacity and TruTrace's StrainSecureTM system, will be focused on developing a unified approach to medical cannabis standards, onboarding licenced producers and other partners to track and trace all product history—from genome to distribution. The program is expected to help researchers and clinicians to match therapeutic outcomes to specific genetic and chemical profiles, and provide physicians, pharmacists, and patients with greater confidence in the products they prescribe or consume.
Under their StrainSecureTM system, the TruTrace team collects plant testing data and performs genomic verification in plant batches which are then registered in a blockchain-enabled database for intellectual property protection and strain validation. All information gathered from the plants, including their molecular and chemical makeup, can be tracked via the technology.
"We have been encouraged by the response to this traceability initiative. There is a clear consensus within the cannabis industry that the source and quality of medical cannabis must be transparent and identifiable in order to meet the expectations of patients and health care practitioners," said Ken Weisbrod, Vice President of Business Development, Shoppers Drug Mart. "It is more important than ever to be able to assure all stakeholders, from regulators to health care practitioners, that the medical cannabis industry is taking the necessary steps to establish the infrastructure required to deliver standardized, consistent medication to our patients. Shoppers has turned to two trusted leaders, TruTrace and Deloitte Canada LLP, to assist us in the second phase of the project."
"As the cannabis sector continues to rapidly evolve in Canada, the industry needs to increase transparency to all stakeholders by demonstrating adherence to rigorous procedures to maintain the overall integrity of the supply chain," said David Stewart, Partner within Deloitte's Forensics practice. "Strengthening traceability and verification of cannabis products will bring benefits to the industry as a whole, and most importantly, build confidence and accountability into the cannabis medical value chain. We are proud to be part of such an important initiative given Deloitte Canada's leadership in the cannabis space."
First announced in early June at the second annual World Cannabis Congress in Saint John, New Brunswick, the Pilot Program is being developed and implemented by TruTrace utilizing their proprietary StrainSecureTM platform. StrainSecure serves as the central hub for identity management, asset tracking, validation and product authentication, as well as a master registry for standardized testing, product verification, and quality assurance.
About Shoppers Drug Mart: Shoppers Drug Mart is one of the most recognized and trusted names in Canadian retailing. The company is the licensor of full-service retail drug stores operating under the name Shoppers Drug Mart (Pharmaprix in Québec). With almost 1,300 Shoppers Drug Mart and Pharmaprix stores operating in prime locations in each province and two territories, the company is one of the most convenient retailers in Canada. The company also licenses or owns 47 medical clinic pharmacies operating under the name Shoppers Simply Pharmacy (Pharmaprix Simplement Santé in Québec), and provides cosmetic dermatology services at two standalone locations, the Beauty Clinic. As well, the company owns and operates 43 corporate Wellwise by Shoppers Drug Mart stores and an ecommerce site Wellwise.ca, making it the largest Canadian retailer of home health care products and services. In addition to its retail store network, the company owns Shoppers Drug Mart Specialty Health Network Inc., a provider of specialty drug distribution, pharmacy and comprehensive patient support services, and MediSystem Inc., a provider of pharmaceutical products and services to long-term care facilities. Shoppers Drug Mart is an independent operating division of Loblaw Companies Limited.