The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) announced that the provincial government has given the green light for cannabis retailers to offer cannabis home delivery services and pickup at the store.
In a bulletin released this week, the AGCO says the province has established rules to make this expected change permanent and put in place temporarily during the Covid pandemic. These new rules will come into effect on March 15.
Although Ontario is one of the Canadian provinces that most facilitates the development of the cannabis sector, not all companies will be able to deliver cannabis. Only the retail store authorization holder or its employees may make deliveries, which must be made to a residence or private place, including places such as hotel rooms. Delivery by third parties is not permitted.
“Please note that the new delivery rules will still not allow cannabis retail stores to operate wholly or primarily as delivery businesses,” the AGCO said. “The new rules will allow cannabis retailers to continue to safely provide consumers with greater choice, convenience and access to legal recreational cannabis,” the announcement reads.
For delivery, orders must be placed with a specific store, orders must come from that same store and be fulfilled with products stocked on site, and cannabis can only be delivered during the hours the store is open at public.
When operating websites, applications or other similar online platforms, Licensees must take reasonable steps to ensure that customers accessing them are at least 19 years of age and must display the official cannabis retail seal of Ontario.
In accordance with the current rules governing the transactions of click-and-collectthese must be “carried out in an area adjacent to the store that is picked up by the store’s monitoring system”.
For First Nations communities, delivery “will be permitted, unless the community has requested that delivery be restricted,” adds the AGCO.