Business Insider: Canada’s largest drugstore chain is partnering with a tech company to create an online database to track cannabis quality

“There is a stigma around recommending cannabis to patients in Canada. While medical cannabis has been legal in Canada for 19 years, doctors still feel uncertain authorizing its use to patients. 

Shoppers Drug Mart, Canada’s largest drugstore chain, is partnering with product quality and verification testing company TruTrace to create an online database to track cannabis quality.

The goal is to collect data on cannabis products from seed to sale, including a detailed chemistry and genetics of the plant and its metabolomic signatures, to understand what types help which patients.

“There was this idea that it was going to fix everything from Parkinson’s to Alzheimer’s to osteoarthritis to multiple sclerosis, but where’s the evidence?” said Dr. Hance Clark, who’s been working with Shoppers for the past four years. “The answer is, there isn’t much. It’s all anecdotal. So then the question is, how could we do this better, how could we change the system?”…

Shoppers Drug Mart, Canada’s largest drugstore chain, is attempting to mitigate confusing guidelines and information around cannabis use with a new partnership with the California based TruTrace, which does product quality and verification testing. The two are creating a new online portal, called Medical Cannabis By Shoppers Drug Mart, accessible to both patients and doctors that will track exactly what strains of flower, how many milligrams of THC, and what kinds of chemicals are in the products…”

Shoppers Drug Mart and TruTrace add data insights to help doctors

TruTrace Technologies (CSE: TTT-OTCQB: TTTSF) CEO Robert Galarza joined Steve Darling from Proactive Vancouver with news the their partner company Shoppers Drug mart is now looking to increase available data from its online medical cannabis marketplace to try and allow doctors to access more data.

Galarza discusses that data and how that is a way to allow doctors more data so they can feel more comfortable prescribing the drug to their patients.

Shoppers Drug Mart to grow medical pot sales with data

Shoppers Drug Mart is adding more robust data to its online medical cannabis marketplace to help doctors get comfortable prescribing the drug.

The Loblaw-owned (L.TO) pharmacy chain launched its Medical Cannabis by Shoppers Drug Mart digital portal nationwide last December. Unlike recreational pot, medical cannabis is exclusively sold online. Shoppers Drug Mart offers products from a dozen licenced producers through its pot website.

Ken Weisbrod, the company’s vice president of business development, and a pharmacist by trade, sees better data as key to gaining the trust of doctors wary of prescribing cannabis, due to the unknowns compared to conventional pharmaceuticals with Drug Identification Numbers. 

“Cannabis is a combination of many different molecules in the plant, so doctors have to get their head around that,” he told Yahoo Finance Canada on Wednesday. “What we want to do for them is provide them with a much more robust look at the products that we offer.”

Shoppers is launching a new online portal for doctors on Thursday as part of a study led by the University Health Network aimed at matching patients with the right cannabis products. It will include detailed cannabinoid and terpene information designed to help medical professionals better understand the properties of pot strains.

Weisbrod said the process can be more complicated than simply determining the right product. Since licenced producers often source cannabis through third-party wholesale agreements, there can be variations from batch to batch. That’s a problem for doctors who demand consistency.

“There have been some patients who start therapy on cannabis, and it’s doing wonders for them. Then it doesn’t work in a couple of months. Part of that reason is, it might not necessarily be the same product that they were originally on,” he said. “That really isn’t the way of medicine.”

Last June, Shoppers announced a partnership with blockchain company TruTrace Technologies (TTT.CN) to oversee product consistency, quality and genetics throughout the supply chain from genome-to-patient with the goal of bringing medical cannabis closer in line with standards for other drugs.

“In Canada, we have roughly 85,000 physicians. Really a small cohort, less than 10 per cent, have really embraced cannabis,” Weisbrod said. “Having a change in the way physicians prescribe takes years. It doesn’t happen overnight.”

Toronto-based Auxly Cannabis Group (XLY.V) sells to medical users through the Shoppers portal. Chief executive officer Hugo Alves said the additional data showcases his company’s testing and quality assurance measures for the doctors writing prescriptions.

“Now that science, innovation, and importantly research are becoming a more prevalent part of cannabis as a medicine, a trend that you will see is an absolute demand for increasing rigour in consistency and accuracy,” he said in an interview. “It’s raising the bar on standards throughout the entire industry.”

Weisbrod said Shoppers Drug Mart remains focused on the medical side of the cannabis business, and does not intend to pursue recreational sales. He declined to comment on the size of the company’s share of the Canadian medical market. 

As for next steps, Weisbrod hopes regulatory changes will soon allow medical cannabis to be offered in the company’s physical pharmacies.

“In 2022, they’ll look into the medical regime, and maybe they’ll open it up and put it in pharmacies,” he said. “Our hope is for patients to walk in and get cannabis like their other medications.”

Jeff Lagerquist is a senior reporter at Yahoo Finance Canada. Follow him on Twitter @jefflagerquist.

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

Newswise — (Toronto – July 9, 2020) – Medical cannabis is finally being put under the microscope, in a first-of-its-kind real world evidence study led by Dr. Hance Clarke, Director of Pain Services, Toronto General Hospital, and a recognized leader in educating Canadians about chronic pain management and the risk factors of continued opioid use. 

The Medical Cannabis Real-World Evidence (MC-RWE) clinical trial will allow patients to select medical cannabis products that are tested, from seed straight through to packaging. Patients using the online portal created by Medical Cannabis by Shoppers, will know exactly what is in their product: how many milligrams of THC and cannabidiol are being consumed, and if it works for them, they can rely on the product being exactly the same, from batch to batch. 

“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 will have a national repository of data that can provide answers about the effectiveness of these products, to test their claims.” 

Patients in the MC-RWE clinical trial will have access to a wide range of products including dried flower, oil extracts, edibles, and, topical preparations through the portal, which is the online platform for the sale of medical cannabis by Canadian retail pharmacy chain, Shoppers Drug Mart. 

In an industry where standardization is still in its infancy, this study aims to give direction with the same rigour around medical cannabis that is demanded of any other pharmaceutical product. 

“Medical Cannabis by Shoppers is best placed to offer Canadians the reassurance of medical products that have been tested and validated,” says Ken Weisbrod, Vice President, Business Development/Cannabis Strategy, Shoppers Drug Mart. “Our development of a blockchain secured initiative, with TruTrace Technologies Inc., has now been integrated into an operational portal that will provide products with an immutable digital identity, that can capture everything from detailed chemistry down to its DNA.” 

Users of medical cannabis have long been vocal about its efficacy in treating chronic pain. Cannabis has also been championed as an alternative to opioids in the treatment of chronic pain. With anecdotal testimonies in abundance, Dr. Clarke, a key opinion leader in the pain management arena, knows that scientific data is necessary to help patients access alternative pain relief and test these assertions.    

“We need the evidence to help us in prescribing the appropriate validated product, at the right dose, for the right patient,” says Dr. Clarke. “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.”

Dr. Clarke is a staff anesthesiologist, Director, Pain Services, Medical Director of The Pain Research Unit, and, Director of the Good Hope Ehlers Danlos Clinic, UHN.


Contacts for HCPs:

  1. For more information, go to the RWE website:
  2. Contact the study coordinator or PI at 416-340-4800 x4251 or email at
  3. If you’re ready to sign on to the e-portal as a recruiting physician go to


Contact for Patients:

  1. For more information please speak to your  doctor to learn if you are eligible to participate or visit 



About University Health Network

University Health Network consists of Toronto General Hospital, recently ranked the #4 Hospital 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.

Proactive: TruTrace Sees Strong Adoption with Producers

“Over 10 major producers have flocked to the StrainSecure platform to track strains of medical cannabis and verify their authenticity

The company’s StrainSecure track and trace platform provides mandatory testing, DNA-based product validation, and helps with intellectual property protection and product guarantees for patients and customers.

The Vancouver-based firm channels the power of blockchain to fix the grim realities of corrupted supply chains in the medical cannabis industry. It combines the power of big data with the security of blockchain to provide strain identification, registration and verification for cannabis at scale.

The firm’s immutable, cryptographically secure technology is the brainchild of co-founder and chief technology officer Tommy Stephenson, who developed enterprise software platforms over two decades for companies such as Microsoft and Mercedes Benz. The company’s Seattle development center has “a Disney feel” to it with the engineers exuding an “if we can dream it, we can build it” philosophy.

The Seattle team’s goal has been to build a framework to help licensed cannabis producers and micro-cultivators easily and inexpensively move their products through the mandatory testing process. TruTrace places that test data on the blockchain for its own protection and that of the company’s intellectual property.

In this way, the StrainSecure platform establishes an accurate, single source, validated, and permanent account for cannabis strains from seed source to market. A cannabis strain’s genetics are stored into an immutable ledger and information is added during each processing stage.

In short, TruTrace’s seed-to-sale tracking platform tackles two pain points in the cannabis industry: it modernizes the inventory tracking system and provides customers with details about a product’s lab test results and cultivar….”

Find out more read the full article by clicking on the button below.  

TruTrace Technologies Signs Software Licensing Agreement with OrionOne Global

July 3, 2020 – TheNewswire – TruTrace Technologies Inc. (CSE:TTT); (CNSX:TTT.CN); (OTC:TTTSF) (“TruTrace” or the “Company”), creator of a fully-integrated blockchain platform that registers and tracks intellectual property for the cannabis industry, is pleased to announce it has signed a software license agreement with OrionOne Global, Inc. (“OrionOne”), a global supply chain provider delivering best-in-class technology which serves as a logistics and tracking smart-hub for navigating shipments and logistics worldwide.

Under the agreement (the “License Agreement“), TruTrace will be able to leverage the OrionOne platform to support commercialization of its core products for its customers. “Finalizing this license agreement with OrionOne not only assures the long-term functionality of StrainSecure(TM), but we believe it will open up market opportunites for TruTrace in other key industries,” stated Robert Galarza, CEO of TruTrace. “Our core mission was built on traceability of quality assurance and testing details at a very granular level and we believe the incorporation of logistics tracking will significantly expand our client base.”

“We are thrilled to bring together these synergetic technologies. Licensing OrionOne will give TruTrace the ability to maximize its commercial opportunites, as well as begin to expand its offering beyond the cannabis industry,” said Tommy Stephenson, Founder and CEO of OrionOne. “When we developed OrionOne over four years ago it was done so with a macro view of shipping and logistics which will compliment the precise level of detail provided by TruTrace incredibly well.”

About TruTrace Technologies

TruTrace Technologies is the developer of fully integrated software, secured on a blockchain infrastructure, that gives clients the ability to store, manage, share and immediately access quality assurance and testing details, COAs, as well as motion and movement intelligence on inventory from batches and lots to serialized items.

The platform was specifically designed to power the traceability of testing standards within the legal cannabis, nutraceutical, food and pharmaceutical space with a focus on the authentication of source materials or ingredients used in formulation.

Highlights of the system include:

– Interoperable and collaborative

– Master registry for source ingredients

– Data secured and immutable

– API integrations to 3rd party systems for record management, reporting and e-commerce

– Real-time testing details connected to each inventory item

– Master testing dashboard for manufacturers and laboratories, including financials

– Digital management of LOD (Limits of Detection) and LOQ (Limits of Quantification) to power transparent testing

– Dynamic batch/lot management

– Quality assurance specs and threshold alert capabilities

Under the License Agreement, the Company has agreed to pay OrionOne, a company controlled by an officer of the Company, Tommy Stephenson, an initial license fee of CAD $385,000 which shall be paid through the issuance of 7,700,000 common shares of the Company (each, a “Common Share“) at a deemed price of $0.05 per Common Share to OrionOne. The initial term of the License Agreement is five years, renewable for consecutive five year terms with the license being perpetual in nature. In addition, the Company agreed to pay OrionOne a fee of US$25,000 within 30 days of the closing of the Company’s next equity financing, or six months from the date of the License Agreement, whichever is sooner. The Company also agreed to pay OrionOne a nominal annual license fee in lieu of royalty payments.

The Common Shares issued in connection with the License Agreement are subject to resale restrictions imposed by applicable law or regulation, including a statutory hold period expiring November 3, 2020.

The License Agreement with OrionOne (the “License“) was a “related party transaction” within the meaning of Multilateral Instrument 61-101 Protection of Minority Security Holders in Special Transactions (“MI 61-101“). The License was exempt from the valuation requirement of MI 61-101 by virtue of the exemptions contained in section 5.5(b) of MI 61-101 as the Company’s Common Shares are not listed on a specified market and from the minority shareholder approval requirements of MI 61-101 by virtue of the exemption contained in section 5.7(1)(b) of MI 61-101 in that the fair market value of the License did not exceed $2,500,000 and the other conditions set out in section 5.7(1)(b) of MI 61-101 were met. As the material change report disclosing the License is being filed less than 21 days before the transaction, there is a requirement under MI 61-101 to explain why the shorter period was reasonable or necessary in the circumstances. In the view of the Company it was necessary to immediately close the Licenes and therefore, such shorter period was reasonable and necessary in the circumstances to secure valueable rights for the Company.

For More Information:

Robert Galarza, Chief Executive Officer and Director, 844-656-3629

Disclaimer for Forward-Looking Information

This news release contains forward-looking information that involves various risks and uncertainties regarding future events. Such forward-looking information can include without limitation statements based on current expectations involving a number of risks and uncertainties and are not guarantees of future performance of the Company, such as statements that TruTrace will be able to leverage the OrionOne platform to support commercialization of its core products, and the companies will work together to discover mutually beneficial opportunities in markets around the world; the License Agreement assures the long-term functionality of StrainSecure(TM), the Company’s hopes that it will open up market opportunites for TruTrace in other key markets; the Company’s belief that linking into global freight will significantly expand its client base; and that licensing OrionOne will give TruTrace the ability to maximize its commercial opportunites, as well as begin to expand its offering beyond the cannabis industry. There are numerous risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results and the Company’s plans and objectives to differ materially from those expressed in the forward-looking information, including adverse market conditions and other factors beyond the Company’s control. Actual results and future events could differ materially from those anticipated in such information. These and all subsequent written and oral forward-looking information are based on estimates and opinions of management on the dates they are made and are expressly qualified in their entirety by this notice. The Company disclaims any intent or obligation to update publicly any forward-looking information, whether as a result of new information, future events or results or otherwise, other than as required by applicable securities laws.

Proactive: TruTrace Technologies Strikes License Deal with Logistics Group OrionOne

“TruTrace Technologies Inc (CSE:TTT) (OTCMKTS:TTTSF), the cannabis-focused blockchain group, has struck a software license deal with logistics group OrionOne Global Inc, which will allow it to widen its client base, the firm said.

OrionOne is a global supply chain provider which has developed a logistics and tracking smart-hub for navigating shipments and logistics.

TruTrace said the deal would allow it to leverage the OrionOne platform to support commercialization of its core products for its customers.

It not only assures the long-term functionality of StrainSecure(TM), but “we believe it will open up market opportunities for TruTrace in other key industries”, Robert Galarza, CEO of TruTrace, told investors in a statement.

“Our core mission was built on traceability of quality assurance and testing details at a very granular level and we believe the incorporation of logistics tracking will significantly expand our client base.”

TruTrace’s platform has been designed to power the traceability of testing standards within the legal cannabis, nutraceutical, food and pharma industries.

“Licensing OrionOne will give TruTrace the ability to maximize its commercial opportunities, as well as begin to expand its offering beyond the cannabis industry,” Tommy Stephenson, the founder and CEO of OrionOne noted.

He said when the firm developed OrionOne over four years ago it was with a macro view of shipping and logistics, which will complement the precise level of detail provided by TruTrace…”

Find out more read the full article by clicking on the button below.  

Seed to Sale Cannabis Journey: Shoppers Drug Mart and PurityIQ, produced by Deloitte

For thousands of years cannabis has been used as a medicinal plant for people’s health and quality of life.

In the recent years we’ve embarked into a new chapter and a brave new market. Join us on this journey and learn about the key players across retail, science, and technology come together to forge a new path to safety and transparency, from seed to sale.  

Retailers like Shoppers Drug Mart have been taking deliberate steps to bring this miracle plant into the marketplace in a safe and secure way. They have partnered with thought leaders across other industries to ensure state of the art testing, data analytics, and a transparent supply chain from seed to sale. Learn more about the key players that have been coming together to lead the charge. 

TruTrace Technologies Announces Appointment of New Director

TORONTO, March 10, 2020 – TruTrace Technologies Inc. (CSE: TTT) (OTCQB: TTTSF) (“TruTrace” or the “Company”), today announced the appointment of Cesare Fazari to its Board of Directors, effective March 9, 2020.

Mr. Fazari is a founding partner of Northwood Developments and has been active in the company for over 30 years. He specializes in commercial retail rollout, having completed thousands of turnkey projects for major commercial franchises such as Shoppers Drug Mart, Marshalls, Trade Secrets and Public Mobile to name a few.

With his entrepreneurial vision, Mr. Fazari has been the seed Venture Capital investor in many successful public companies such as Hydropothacary Corp., Ianthus, Drone Delivery Services and others. Mr. Fazari also previously sat on the board of the public merchant bank, Fountain Asset Corporation and is currently on the advisory board of several public and private companies. Mr. Fazari is actively involved in charitable organizations including The Breakfast Club of Canada, The Canadian Cancer Society and the Good Shepard Food Bank.

TruTrace also announced that Swapan Kakumanu has resigned from his position as a Director effective March 9, 2020, and continues to serve as Chief Financial Officer and Secretary of the Company. The Company wishes to thank Mr. Kakumanu for his service and contributions to the Board.

About TruTrace Technologies:

TruTrace Technologies has developed an integrated blockchain platform to register and track intellectual property in the cannabis industry. TruTrace’s technology allows cannabis growers and breeders to identify and secure rights to their intellectual property. It also streamlines the administrative process and reduces the costs of genetic and mandatory quality-control testing for legal cannabis. TruTrace’s technology is proprietary, immutable and cryptographically secure, thereby establishing an accurate and permanent account for cannabis strains from ownership to market.

For Information: 

Robert Galarza,
Chief Executive Officer and Director,

Investor Inquiries:
Swapan Kakumanu,
Chief Financial Officer,