Medical Cannabis put to the test in first ever real-world evidence clinical trial led by UHN in partnership with Medical Cannabis by Shoppers 


Research-backed model features blockchain security to ensure product safety and compliance for patients who require cannabis-based treatments

(Toronto – July 9th, 2020) – Medical cannabis is finally being put under the microscope, in a first-of-its-kind real world evidence study led by University Health Network (UHN) and Dr. Hance Clarke, Director of Pain Services at Toronto General Hospital in partnership with Medical Cannabis by Shoppers™, a subsidiary of Canadian retail pharmacy chain, Shoppers Drug Mart. 

The Medical Cannabis Real-World Evidence (MC-RWE) clinical trial allows patients to select pre-validated medical cannabis products from a blockchain-secured portal, empowering patients to know what is in their product, how many milligrams of THC and CBD are being consumed, and if a product is consistent from batch to batch. The portal was built by Shoppers and TruTrace Technologies Inc. (CSE: TTT) (OTC: BKKSF), and enables accurate data to be collected from seed-to-patient, tracking a digital DNA-based product fingerprint and ensuring product and study validation. 

Consumers of medical cannabis have long been vocal about its efficacy in treating chronic pain. Cannabis has also been championed as an alternative to opioids. With anecdotal testimonies in abundance, Dr. Clarke, a world-renowned expert on pain management, knows that scientific data is necessary to help patients access pain relief with confidence.   

“The challenge with the medical use of cannabis is that physicians and patients are unsure of the quality of products being consumed,” says Dr. Clarke. “For the first time, we have a national repository of data that can provide answers about the effectiveness of these products and to test their claims. We need the evidence to help us in prescribing the appropriate validated product, at the right dose, for the right patient. Ensuring quality standards will allow physicians and their patients to be confident about using medical cannabis to treat a wide range of pain-related ailments.”

The first-of-its kind collaboration lays the groundwork to build the type of scientific rigor into cannabis medication research and treatment demanded from any other pharmaceutical product — but lacking in cannabis-based treatment.  

Participating patients and physicians will be able to access a range of validated products from ten cannabis licensed producers in formats including dried flower, oil extracts, edibles and topical preparations. 

“Shoppers Drug Mart is trusted by patients and healthcare providers to provide medical products that have been tested and validated, regardless of whether that medication came from a lab or a greenhouse,” says Ken Weisbrod, Pharmacist and Vice President, Business Development/Cannabis Strategy, Shoppers Drug Mart. “Many partners came together to launch this initiative and we are proud to support the experts from UHN to further our ability to provide Canadians with safe, consistent, rigorously tested cannabis-based medication.”

In addition to UHN, Medical Cannabis by Shoppers and Trutrace, study partners include licensed cultivators including Zenabis Global, WeedMD Rx, The Valens Company, Radient Technologies, Organigram Holdings, MediPharm Labs, The Flowr Corporation, Dosecann Cannabis Solutions, CanniMed, Avicanna, Aurora and Aphria, as well as testing companies like Purity-IQ, Sigma Analytical, High North, and Anandia Labs. 

For more information or to book an interview with Dr. Clarke please contact:

Rosa Kim, Senior Public Affairs Advisor
Toronto General Hospital and Peter Munk Cardiac Centre
Phone: 416 340 4800 ext. 3895

About University Health Network

University Health Network consists of Toronto General, recently voted one of the Top 10 Hospitals in the World according to Newsweek Magazine, and Toronto Western Hospital, the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, Toronto Rehabilitation Institute, and the Michener Institute of Education at UHN. The scope of research and complexity of cases at University Health Network has made it a national and international source of discovery, education and patient care. It has the largest hospital-based research program in Canada, with major research in cardiology, transplantation, neurosciences, oncology, surgical innovation, infectious diseases, genomic medicine and rehabilitation medicine. University Health Network is a research hospital affiliated with the University of Toronto.

Medical Cannabis by Shoppers

First launched in Ontario in January 2019, Medical Cannabis by Shoppers Inc. is a subsidiary of Shoppers Drug Mart. It provides patient access to numerous medical cannabis products from over 20 licensed cannabis brands. A medical document (similar to a prescription) can be obtained from a Medical Cannabis by Shoppers healthcare partner via video call, then medication can be ordered online or via phone, and is shipped directly and discreetly to their doorstep. The Shoppers Cannabis Care team – a dedicated call center staffed by cannabis-trained advisors and pharmacists – provides counselling and support for patients. 

Patients and customers can visit for more information. 

 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, making it the largest Canadian retailer of home health care products and services. In addition to its retail store network, the company owns the Company owns Medical Cannabis by Shoppers Drug Mart Inc., an online platform for the sale of medical cannabis, 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. For further information:


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