In The News

Cannabis Standard Index brings much-needed clarity to medical cannabis

An innovative, independent and evidence-based index of medical cannabis products

TORONTO, September 3, 2020 – Reformulary Group is pleased to announce the launch of its Cannabis Standard™ Index. The Index uniformly categorizes medical cannabis products based on objective data, allowing Canadians and the medical community to find accurate, detailed information and to reliably search and compare products.

“We want to help patients, and their doctors make sense of medical cannabis, so we worked with a group of experts to develop a standardized classification system as is the norm with prescription and over-the-counter drugs, but designed explicitly for cannabinoid-based medicine,” said Helen Stevenson, founder and CEO of Reformulary Group. “The Cannabis Standard Index makes it possible for patients and healthcare professionals to search and compare cannabis products and to determine which are similar or interchangeable.”

The Index is an educational tool that allows medical cannabis patients and their doctors to assess and compare products made by different Licensed Producers (LPs) using objective data such as composition, format and form rather than strain name. As there are no industry standards for the naming of strains, some producers may apply strain names to products with different concentrations of cannabinoids. By indexing products using objective data, including the presence of major (THC, CBD) and minor cannabinoids (THCA, CBDA, CBG, CBC, CBN) where the information is available, the Index can help guide reliable prescribing and therapeutic substitutions. So, when a medical cannabis patient seeks a change in product type or when a patient’s usual LP runs out of stock, they can find an effective alternative.

A national study conducted by RIWI Corp., a global trend-tracking and prediction technology firm, in summer 2019 revealed that two-thirds of medical cannabis patients were interested in a rating system that categorizes cannabis into product types and helps consumers compare products. (New study underscores importance of medical cannabis rating system).

The Index is the latest addition to Cannabis Standard, an ecosystem of expert recommendations, patient-powered tools, and independent information to help Canadians and healthcare professionals make smarter, more informed decisions about medical cannabis.

“The addition of the Index to the Cannabis Standard ecosystem empowers patients and healthcare practitioners to access and evaluate medical cannabis with the same level of sophistication as with prescription drugs,” said Dr. Alan Bell, family physician and Assistant Professor in the Department of Family and Community Medicine at the University of Toronto. “Rather than relying on a product strain name, or user-generated reviews, we now have a system to help categorize and differentiate medical cannabis using data relevant for doctors and patients,” he added.

“When medicine makes sense, we all benefit,” said Ms. Stevenson, who is the former Assistant Deputy Minister of Health in Ontario. In this role, she ran Ontario’s $4 billion drug program, overseeing the Ontario Drug Benefit Formulary. The Cannabis Index borrows from some of the same principles as Reformulary’s award-winning DrugFinder™ tool. DrugFinder is broadly offered by Canadian employers to their plan members, and provides patients and plan members with evidence-based information about their medication, empowering them to make informed choices.

The Cannabis Standard Index is free and open source. Reformulary Group endeavors to include products from as many licensed producers as possible. It does not sell cannabis, receives no commissions and does not benefit from the sale of medical cannabis.

About Cannabis Standard:

Cannabis Standard by Reformulary Group is an independent, research-driven and evidence-based ecosystem that helps Canadians make sense of medical cannabis. It enables patients to discover their options related to medical cannabis, search and compare products and track their health journey using a quality of life survey recognized by medical professionals worldwide. For more information, visit

About Reformulary Group Inc.

Founded in 2011, Reformulary Group is an expert-led healthcare company that helps Canadians make sense of medicine (prescription drugs and medical cannabis). The company’s proprietary list, the Reformulary®, is a subscription-based service offered to Canadian employers. Reformulary Group is informed by an independent committee of doctors and pharmacists from across Canada. The company’s award-winning DrugFinder™ provides reliable information to empower patients to make smart drug choices. Reformulary Group also developed Cannabis Standard, a digital platform that provides guidelines for medical cannabis use based on evidence and expert advice. For more information, visit

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Laurie Smith
Crowns Agency
(416) 994-0611