When cannabis was legalized for recreational purposes in 2018, brick-and-mortar stores were only permitted to conduct sales within the confines of their storefront. As regulations evolved due to industry voices and the emergence of COVID-19, home delivery has become an option for cannabis retailers across many provinces.
Delivery is important for retailers because it allows them to expand their profits by reaching individuals outside of their store’s immediate area. Especially in oversaturated markets like Toronto, having a strong online presence and SEO can help increase delivery orders, boosting revenue overall. Allowing legal cannabis retailers to deliver helps them better compete with the legacy market, as unregulated delivery services are incredibly popular. Every province has taken a different approach to cannabis delivery and curbside pick-up.
In this article, we’ll analyze the differences and explore some creative examples of delivery-oriented marketing strategies.
Cannabis Delivery in Ontario
Ontario-based cannabis retailers have faced some interesting challenges and changes as it pertains to delivery.
At the beginning of the pandemic (in April of 2020), Ontario first permitted retailers to temporarily facilitate curbside pick-up and home delivery services. For this temporary measure, retailers had to hire new employees and create new systems to successfully navigate through that period. In July of the same year, curbside pick-up and delivery were taken away from these retailers as they were able to open up for in-store shopping again. Only four months later in November, the province once again announced that retailers will be allowed to perform curbside pickup and delivery. Frustrated retailers had to now re-hire or hire new delivery employees that had been laid off only months prior. The Ontario government recently announced a proposal to permanently give private cannabis retailers the option of offering delivery and curbside pickup.
Cannabis Delivery in British Columbia
Delivery and curbside pick-up were not permitted in BC throughout most of the pandemic since cannabis was legalized. However, on July 15th, 2021, the province enacted amendments that now allow private cannabis retailers to perform home delivery across the province. Cannabis retailers are not allowed to execute mail order services, only direct delivery. Drivers must be employees of the retail store and must only deliver during the permitted hours of retail (9AM-11PM).
British Columbia-based stores cannot work with third-party services (such as Pineapple Express Delivery) but can use some software providers such as Onfleet to streamline operations. Retailers expect this change to allow them to better compete with the illicit market and boost revenues.
Cannabis Delivery in Manitoba
Manitoba was the first province to allow delivery in Canada. This province allows private retailers and allows direct distribution between producers and stores. Delivery has been permitted in Manitoba essentially since legalization. Retailers in this province are also allowed to partner with third-party delivery services such as Super Anytime to facilitate sales.
Cannabis Delivery in Saskatchewan
Saskatchewan has also permitted home delivery of cannabis since legalization. Most of the stores and delivery services in this province are privately owned and operated.
Cannabis Delivery in Alberta, Quebec, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, PEI and Newfoundland
In these provinces, the only legal home delivery cannabis options are from the provincial government-run retailers.
In Alberta, Alberta Cannabis is the only legal destination to order from. Orders are sent through Canada Post or Purolator and take a few business days to arrive.
In Quebec, The Societe Quebecoise du Cannabis is the only legal retailer of cannabis in the province. They offer a $5 flat delivery fee on all orders and are sent via Canada Post – not delivered on the same day.
In Nova Scotia, residents must order from the NSLC, pay a $7 fee, and wait 2-3 business days for it to arrive via Canada Post. There is no same-day home delivery option in this province.
In New Brunswick, CannabisNB is the provincial retailer and promises next-day delivery on all orders.
In PEI, orders take 2 business days to arrive from PEI Cannabis, the government-run retailer.
In Newfoundland & Labrador, CannabisNL facilities sales but the shipments are actually made by the LPs themselves – meaning “delivery” orders can actually take up to 7 business days to arrive.
These provinces have limited economic opportunities and are restricting private retailers from delivering or restricting these private businesses entirely. We hope these provinces take more of a free-market approach like Ontario, BC, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba.
Last Updated on December 8, 2021 by ADCANN