Province reverses decision on weed retailers, allowing them to stay in business to continue fight against black market
People will soon be able to pickup cannabis curbside from local licensed retailers like Bud & Sally in uptown Waterloo.
The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario has reversed its previous decision to ban cannabis retailers from operating, meaning that individual stores can now provide curbside pickup and delivery options.
“To continue the fight against the illegal cannabis market and support cannabis retail store operators and legal recreational cannabis consumers, the Government of Ontario has issued an Emergency Order to temporarily allow authorized cannabis retail stores to offer delivery and curbside pickup,” the AGCO stated in a media release on Tuesday.
“These changes are effective immediately and will last for the duration of the period of declared provincial emergency, with the possibility of extension if the government’s Emergency Order on business closures is extended.”
On March 17, Ontario Premier Doug Ford declared a state of emergency in Ontario, because of COVID-19, and ordered the closure of non-essential businesses. Authorized cannabis retail stores were initially deemed essential businesses. On April 3, a revised list was issued, further reducing the number of essential businesses, and cannabis retail stores were among those that had been ordered to close as of April 4.
John Radostits, who just opened Waterloo’s Bud & Sally in mid-March, had questioned what appeared to be a double standard, as delivery of alcohol with takeout food had been OK’d by the province and the online Ontario Cannabis Store continued to provide delivery of cannabis.
“Yes good news from the AGCO,” he said Wednesday, in an email. “We are currently working on our plan to open with the curbside pickup ASAP.
“All customers will have to visit our website www.budandsally.com and order from our full catalogue and pay in advance for all cannabis and accessories. The next step will be to come to the storefront sidewalk (32 King St. S) and we will bring the order out to them. We are currently updating our website and should be ready within the next day or so.”
Radostits said he’ll also be looking at the logistics of adding a delivery option, moving forward.
David Clement, Toronto-based North American affairs manager for the Consumer Choice Center (CCC), said the only issue with the ACGO’s announcement is that the allowance is temporary.
“Prohibiting retailers from offering delivery was always a silly and misguided policy,” said Clement.
“Once everything has returned to normal, our hope is that retailers will continue to be allowed to offer delivery options for their consumers. Allowing for retailers to deliver will help the legal market compete with the black market, which is something that everyone should be on board with.”
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