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The new Uber & Tokyo Smoke partnership – is it compliant

An exclusive from Reuters announcing that UberEats would start delivering cannabis in Ontario through Tokyo Smoke stores was dialed back to state instead that customers could order through the app — but would have to go to the store to pick it up.

Click ‘n’ collect only

Cannabis delivery is legal in Ontario, with apps like Dutchie and Weedmaps as well as stores making it possible. But delivery drivers have to check the ID and credit card of every customer who orders — something Uber drivers aren’t currently trained or equipped to do at this time.

We still have questions

But even limiting service to click ‘n’ collect doesn’t necessarily sound compliant. For one, transactions are completed through UberEats, and not the store’s seed-to-sale tracking system — meaning selling cannabis via UberEats doesn’t comply with provincial sales and distribution laws. 

Another issue? Age-gating cannabis sales and marketing. Whether or not you agree with the rules, the UberEats app doesn’t distinguish between kids and those who are 19 or higher, the legal age to buy cannabis in Ontario. 

Any publicity is good publicity?

On Twitter, cannabis industry lawyer Chad Finkelstein theorized that the announcement was more about PR than providing anything new to shoppers in Ontario.

“Hot take: this is largely PR for Uber and doesn’t actually change much,” he wrote. “No delivery being offered (because it can’t be), and no new pickup features or options. Just another platform to order from for pickup, in addition to Tokyo Smoke website. Or am I just a cynic?”

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