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Astrid, Australia’s first female-led dispensary, has just arrived in Melbourne. And before you ask, yes, you read that correctly. It’s a dispensary run entirely by women! Finally!

Located in the heart of South Yarra, Astrid Dispensary is a boutique, specialty pharmacy that’s reinventing the traditional pharmacy. It’s turning over a new leaf by focusing on timely patient-centred care and plant based medicines.
After several years of working in the medicinal cannabis industry in Australia, Astrid’s Founder and CEO, Lisa Nguyen, recognised a frustrating gap for patients – access and patient-led care in a system that does not support cannabis or patients. “Mainstream medicine still negatively associates cannabis with recreational use rather than a plant derived medicine. Australian regulations still consider cannabis based medicine as a last line treatment (whilst overseas CBD can be purchased over the counter). The entire process of accessing cannabis in Australia for medicinal use can be confusing and frustrating for doctors and patients. “ says Lisa
Astrid was built from the ground up – completely people-focused, with the design intent for removing the stigma associated with cannabis. Subverting clinical and cold perceptions of the traditional pharmacy model, Astrid is illustrative of the wider conversation that is needed in destigmatising medicinal cannabis. Astrid brings together gentle curves and natural materials to reflect its devotion to natural medicine that is grounded in science – creating a welcoming, open and comforting space for patients.
Putting the patient experience at the forefront, Astrid innovatively flips the traditional pharmacy design on its head. While most pharmacies hide their dispensary at the rear of the space, Astrid abstracts the traditional space with an open-plan design, integrating retail space and pharmacists greeting area, resulting in a greater human-to-human interaction.
From a digital perspective, Astrid offers a telehealth screening process whereby a dispensary team member will hand hold patients through the confusing regulatory process.
With a concierge dedicated to patient experience, Astrid works alongside affiliated and independent doctors to facilitate patient access. Intent on building a community, Astrid’s commitment to patient education and compassion towards each patient as a whole differentiates Astrid from other clinics and pharmacies in Australia.
Layering this with holistic medicine, Lisa hopes to shift the focus away from pharmaceutical drugs as our first port-of-call for disease management and pave the way for emerging plant- based therapies focusing more on wellbeing, wellness and personalised nutrients. The medicinal cannabis industry in Australia, like in other countries, is heavily male-dominated. Astrid is an industry leader, made up of four inspiring women: Lisa Nguyen,
Founder, CEO and lover of creative things; Bee Mohamed, Head of Patient Advocacy and Engagement and Astrid’s go-to in-house Moral Compass; Judy Nguyen, Astrid’s Resident Nurse and Compassionate Concierge; and Taniya, Astrid’s Managing Pharmacist and Operations Queen.
As a team, Lisa, Bee, Taniya and Judy have made Astrid a warm, modern and unique
healthcare experience, where patients are at the centre of everything they do.
Find Astrid Dispensary at 575 Chapel Street, South Yarra.
Find out more about Astrid here.
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author

Toni Gam

Toni is a dog-lover, foodie, writer, book-worm and yogi - in that order. As a holistic and clinical nutritionist, Toni does more than preach green smoothies and kale. She encourages others to make health and wellbeing practical and digestible. Toni believes living consciously is not just the food on your plate, but the way we interact with our environment, our relationships and ourselves.

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