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Delivery likely to stay in Ontario

New legislation tabled by the Ontario government would allow cannabis curbside pickup and deliveries to be permanent, reports CBC.

COVID concessions

Like many newly legal markets, cannabis delivery from stores to customers wasn’t initially permitted — until April of 2020, about a month into the pandemic.

That move was crucial to the survival of Ontario’s brick-and-mortar stores, which increased from just 50 to 1000 in the past 20 months, and helped total sales reach more than $707 million. In its annual report published in March, the Ontario Cannabis Store (the provincial wholesaler and e-commerce site) said 78 per cent of its customers used its three-day express delivery option in Q4.

Retailers applaud the move

Raj Grover, the president and CEO of retail chain High Tide, issued a press release in support of the proposal, adding that he believed delivery also helped new businesses compete with illicit delivery services.

“This decision helped many smaller cannabis retailers stay afloat and limit layoffs, while providing the sector with an important tool to combat illicit market operators, many of whom began ramping up their unregulated delivery services as the pandemic hit,” he said. “I am pleased that the Ontario government has now decided to make the delivery allowance permanent.”

Missing out in ‘Sauga

Funnily enough, it was Mississauga MPP Nina Tangri, the associate minister of Small Business and Red Tape Reduction, who tabled the bill on Thursday.

Mississauga happens to one of Canada’s largest “weed deserts” — a municipality whose council has not yet permitted licensed cannabis to open to serve its more than 800,000 constituents. Luckily, many retailers in adjacent jurisdictions are more than happy to deliver to the area.

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