Rylan Usselman has depended on cannabis to treat migraines and insomnia for the past two years, but after his licensed cannabis producer ran out of the type of cannabis he uses, he ran into a challenge.
Canadians have to order medical cannabis directly from the Health Canada-licensed producer (LP) they’re registered with. When the 28-year-old Saskatchewan resident wanted to try a different licensed producer, he discovered he would have to obtain his health document from his producer, and then re-register with another.
Cannmart, a new company owned by Namaste Technologies Inc., has emerged to address problems commonly faced by Canada’s medical cannabis consumers. While some licensed producers are signing supply agreements with pharmacies, Cannmart is taking a different approach: it was recently granted its Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations (ACMPR) production license with the plan to become the country’s first aggregator of cannabis – meaning that if one LP runs out of your precious high-CBD cannabis oil, you could simply buy another brand’s offerings from the same shop. All suppliers will be sourced from both Canadian and International producers, such as Marigold Projects Jamaica Ltd.
“One key component of the company’s strategy is to offer imported medical cannabis for our patients,” Sean Dollinger, Namaste’s CEO, told Lift. “We have supply arrangements with industry-leading producers in Israel, Jamaica and Colombia, and will offer both domestic and internationally grown cannabis for our patients.”
The name Namaste – which translates to “I bow to you” in Sanskrit – was inspired by the company’s focus on creating a community-focused collective. The company is the largest global online retailer for medical cannabis accessories and they distribute gear from bricks-and-mortar shops in 20 countries.
Even though Cannmart has secured a production licence, they still need to qualify for a sales-only licence. This means they can order from Health Canada-licensed LPs. After receiving, testing and packaging the initial shipments, Cannmart is required to demonstrate compliance with standard operating procedures and other regulatory requirements with Health Canada. Once they’ve done that, they’ll be eligible for the sales-only licence.
“Namaste is going to be the Amazon for cannabis,” Dollinger said. “We have already achieved that in the hardware industry and will be doing the same for medical cannabis.”
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