Dean Miller, CEO of Wholehealth, along with his head office team and invited guests, were on-site in Welland, Ont. on Sat., Sept. 25, to celebrate the anticipated opening of the banner’s 100th store Wholehealth Niagara Pharmacy.
“We never expected to hit 100 stores as quickly as we did,” said Dean Miller, whose banner has now raced past the 150-store mark. The banner has a presence in seven provinces and is now Canada’s fastest growing banner.
“For years I’d wanted to start a banner that catered to the very specific needs of retail pharmacists. I wanted full transparency from head office to our stores and solid support from both a clinical and programs perspective. Pharmacists are busy enough with day-to-day activities without having to request and decipher data coming from head office,” said Dean. Thanks to venture capital support and guidance from Christian Montini, President of Denovo Medical Inc., Dean and his team have created a banner that resonates with many of Canada’s top pharmacist practitioners.
Jauher Ahmad, a partner in Wholehealth Niagara Pharmacy, has all seven of his stores in the banner. “I’d never consider going anywhere else. Dean’s team understands our industry and provides all the support we need. They have the expertise to see where the industry is headed and react, well before others. Honestly, I can’t thank them enough.”
Jauher, together with Wholehealth Niagara Pharmacy business partners Jag Maghera, Jas Rajput and Raj Rajput, have built a state-of-the-art pharmacy that includes a prescription drop-off/pick-up drive-thru, a compounding room and medical office space.
“All of our stores are special but this one is extra special and a first in Canada!” added Dean.
Wholehealth has begun collaborating with Insalata Cannabis Market by carving out 500 sq. ft. of space and creating a separate and distinct Insalata recreational cannabis store at its Welland location.
“In the late 1800s, cannabis was prescribed by doctors and compounded by druggists,” explained Ken Rubin of Insalata Cannabis Market. “Thanks to legalization, recreational cannabis is now being used by consumers seeking relief for many ailments, but they aren’t qualified to making these decisions on their own. It makes perfect sense that pharmacists should follow their patients’ cannabis use to help identify possible drug interactions and select appropriate products.”
“Patients were coming to us complaining that it was taking sometimes weeks for them to get cannabis products through a Government of Canada Licensed Producer. We saw an opportunity that made sense on so many levels,” said Dean Miller.
Insalata Cannabis Market is the first recreational cannabis store to have two licensed pharmacists who specialize in cannabis, as business partners. They are now the guiding force for helping Wholehealth pharmacists and technicians manage patient questions. “We have developed education for pharmacy staff which is more in-depth than what they initially received at conferences and educational events.
They will become experts in cannabis thereby empowering them to make recommendations on various cannabis products,” said Ajay Chahal.
“We’ve created a digital platform that acts as a support network. It allows Wholehealth pharmacists to discuss complex patient cases with each other, as well Insalata pharmacists,” added Anushya Vijayaraghevan.
“Both Wholehealth and Insalata are like no others in their respective spaces. It makes perfect sense that they would forge this ground-breaking relationship,” said Ken Rubin.
“Wholehealth and Insalata are two very special companies," commented Chris Guay, CEO of Insalata Cannabis Market. "We are very excited about this ground-breaking approach to cannabis and we will be collaborating on lots more locations around the province.”