By Emily Ledger
The government of British Columbia has announced that it plans to end its 34-month monopoly over legal cannabis deliveries in the province.
Currently, the only way that cannabis consumers in British Columbia can order legal cannabis products online is through the government’s online store – though customers were still required to pick up their purchases from bricks-and-mortar stores. However, that will soon change.
From 15 July this year, licensed private cannabis retailers will be permitted to sell their products to online customers.
Yesterday (17 June) the Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General Mike Farnworth stated that the move will allow licensed legal retailers to compete with black-market suppliers who often deliver directly to the customer.
BIV reports that some illicit suppliers even put up posters and flyers advertising their illegal delivery services.
Minister Farnsworth also told the paper that he had been in talks with federal officials to find ways of tackling the problem:
“We’ve been working to support a strong and diverse cannabis industry, shrink the illicit market and keep products out of the hands of children.
“Allowing direct delivery to consumers isn’t just an advantage retailers have told us is vital to the viability of their sector, it’s also a way we can further our public safety goals.”
Although adults in the province will be able to order legal cannabis products for home delivery, those who are deemed to look younger than 19 will be required to present two forms of identification before receiving cannabis products.
While many will be thrilled with the move, there are those who are not yet sold on the idea of offering home delivery.
BIV spoke with the owner of Evergreen Cannabis, Mike Babins, who is worried that offering delivery services could be an expensive proposition for his company.
He told the paper: “If you’re doing [home delivery] illegally, and you just have a guy on a bicycle, that’s one thing.
“We would have to pay for the car, we’d have to pay for the insurance for the car – and most insurance companies, if you tell them you’re sending out a dude in his twenties, with a bag full of weed, they’re gonna charge a lot of insurance for that.”
Canada legalised adult-use recreational cannabis in October 2018, becoming only the second country in the world to make the move. A year later, the launch of the so-called “Cannabis 2.0” allowed the sale of cannabis-infused edibles, drinks and extracts.