Ontario’s Decision To Allow Cannabis Delivery And Pickup Is The Right One
The coronavirus pandemic has affected virtually every facet of almost every industry on earth in one way or another. Companies are being forced to adapt their business practices if they want to continue to operate, and that includes companies in Canada’s emerging cannabis industry.
Earlier this month Premier Doug Ford put out a list of ‘non-essential’ industries which resulted in those industries having to close temporarily until the pandemic subsides. Unfortunately, cannabis outlets were on that list.
Initially, it looked like cannabis outlets were going to have to close completely, however, Premier Ford reversed his decision days after the initial list went out and will now allow cannabis outlets to continue to sell cannabis via deliveries and curbside pickup. Per CBC:
On April 3, Premier Doug Ford expanded the province’s list of non-essential business to include cannabis stores.
Four days later, the province issued an emergency order allowing those stores to both deliver and offer curbside pickup from Monday to Sunday, between 9 a.m. and 11 p.m.
“This change was made to allow cannabis retailers to have the same opportunities as other non-essential businesses that are permitted to operate remotely if they can provide goods for pickup and delivery.” said Jenessa Crognali, spokesperson for the Attorney General of Ontario.
The reversal in Ontario was the right decision. Countless patients use cannabis for medical purposes throughout Ontario, just as they do in every other part of Canada. For some of them, ordering cannabis online is sufficient, however, many patients prefer to acquire their cannabis through brick and mortar outlets.
Allowing deliveries and pickup services obviously benefits adult-use consumers as well. There are safe ways for consumers to purchase legal cannabis from licensed outlets, and allowing retail outlets to facilitate consumer cannabis purchases via deliveries and pickup will help those businesses stay open.
If outlets were forced to close it’s not as if it would have resulted in consumers choosing to go without cannabis, but rather, it would have resulted in consumers seeking cannabis from unregulated sources which would have no doubt resulted in social distancing practices being ignored. That is the last thing that Ontario needs to happen right now.