Hybrid Pharm Business Owners
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#3: of 12 Cannabis Innovators We’re Watching That Are Killing It In All Things Weed

As a pharmacist, Rahim Dhalla knows the benefits of cannabis. He’s also seen them first-hand as a son. “My father had cancer in 2016 and I started him on cannabis oil to help relieve the side effects of chemotherapy, his pain, loss of appetite, etc. I was hopeful and soon family and friends started asking me about medical cannabis,” Dhalla says. “That was the beginning of this journey — I knew we needed to have proper education and guidance when it comes to dispensing cannabis.” Dhalla says that’s when he decided he wanted to help people learn about cannabis, teach them how to use it effectively, give them safe access to it and answer their questions. His end goal, he decided, was to help patients bridge the gap between pharmaceuticals and therapeutic cannabis. “I told my dad about it before he passed. He wanted me to do this business and told me to run with it.” 

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Hybrid Pharm opened in 2018 — 
it’s the first pharmacy in North America where patients can walk out with the medical cannabis products they need. It’s a bona fide pharmacy where patients can get their questions answered by truly qualified medical professionals. “When people need medical advice, 
they call their doctor or pharmacist. Those who work in retail cannabis stores are not experts in medical cannabis. There is a lot of misinformation, confusion and miseducation out there,” says Dhalla. “Cannabis is a medicine. We have an opportunity for pharmacies to provide this service. Pharmacists know their patients — they know their drug profiles, know how to mitigate risk and they knew the safest options.” He says going into a retail cannabis store doesn’t provide the same benefit. “Budtenders are not qualified to answer patients. In this case, patients are going to a recreational store when they should be seeing someone who knows how cannabis will interact with their current medications. At Hybrid Pharm, we’ve helped patients come off opioids, benzodiazepines, lessen their antidepressant medications. Cannabis can provide so many benefits when it comes to medicine.”

Going to a pharmacy for your cannabis needs has a plethora of advantages, but one of the biggest is that your journey will be monitored. “We offer follow-ups using a virtual platform for appointments. Once they have a prescription, they can come into the pharmacy, pick it up, ask about side 
effects, etc. We’re the point of care. We’re here for them and we can follow their journeys.”

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