Many saw the public-health sense in closing REC stores. However, across the sector, insiders protested Ontario’s initial refusal to legalize REC delivery or pick-up options, particularly given the government needed only to amend regulations as they had already with rules governing alcohol delivery. (Ontario adopted “Temporary Measures to Support Bars, Restaurants and Alcohol Retailers.”)
Twitter–@G_Smitherman, @CCC_Cannabis, @TrinaFraser, @dycktionary
- Ontario is home to nearly half Canada’s population, and the Ontario Cannabis Store recently temporarily suspended its same-day and overnight REC delivery pilot project due to overwhelming demand.
- Additionally, the initial reclassification prevented stores from offering click-and-collect service (which BC fast-tracked into legality last week in order to discourage foot-shopping). By contrast, hardware stores and pet stores could offer curbside pickup.
Daily Hive, MJ Biz Daily, CTV News
- Inside the industry, some argued cashless click-and-collect options reduced risk to employees and customers, while delivery (by drivers properly equipped with PPE) would be ideal for pandemic REC retail.
National Post, GrowthOp, Twitter–@MattPMaurer
- The OCS announced Sunday it is waiving shipping fees, and for customers who don’t want to pick their packages up at the post office, offering three-day-delivery through private operator Domain Express.
In a surprising about-face, the Ontario government approved an emergency order not only allowing retailers to continue click-and-collect sales, but allowing them–for 14 days–to deliver their products to customers (provided delivery people have received the provincial CannSell training). For 14 days, retailers will compete with the OCS’s usual monopoly on delivery.
- The bill was signed into law on Tuesday afternoon, allowing REC retailers to again offer click-and-collect services online or by phone. Retailers who want to offer delivery services will have to figure out how to do so quickly.
REC delivery is only fully legally available in two mid-population provinces–Saskatchewan and Manitoba. Critics wonder why delivery isn’t also available in Alberta (and other provinces) if REC is “essential” and delivery could reduce indoor crowding.