Update: The AGCO has expressly stated that they will not be issuing licenses enabling delivery of cannabis. Therefore, you will not be able to offer cannabis delivery services unless you are operate an AGCO-authorized brick and mortar store
If you are completely new to the cannabis world, I highly recommend you read my piece on how to open a dispensary.
Who can deliver the cannabis products on the store’s behalf?
Only direct employees of the licence holder of the retail store can deliver the cannabis products. And these individuals must have their CanSell certification.
Do I have to deliver to a residential address or can I deliver to a person’s place of work? How far away from my location can I deliver to?
You must deliver to a residential address but there is no restriction on how far away it can be from your store as long as it is in Ontario. You must ensure the delivery driver is a direct employee of the store and you cannot use third-parties to deliver. So theoretically, you can deliver to the other side of Ontario – as long as you follow those conditions. Unless you want to pay your employee to do that, it’s not really practical.
Where outside the store can I facilitate curb-side pickup? Do my customers have to be in vehicles?
The AGCO says the pickup must take place in an “outdoor area in close proximity to the retail store.” Customers are not allowed inside the store and at all times the transactions must be “clearly captured” by the store’s video surveillance. There is no requirement for customers to be in vehicles. Check with your landlord to see how you can best facilitate curb-side pickup in relation to your property.
Do I have to deliver the product to the same person that placed the order?
For curb-side pick-ups, the person picking up the order must be the individual who placed the order. For deliveries, you can only deliver to the person that placed the order or another person who resides at the residence that is 19 years of age or older.
Do I need to ID customers for curb-side pick-up and delivery?
You must ID all individuals that you suspect to be 25 years of age or under.
Can I re-open my store for in-store sales?
No, customers are not permitted to enter the store at any time.
Can I charge for Delivery?
Yes, you can charge a delivery fee.
Are there any COVID-related measures or requirements I need to know about?
You are required to obey all government directives and orders with relation to COVID-19.
Do I have to have certain vehicles or security mechanisms in place when delivering cannabis?
There are no special requirements with regards to the vehicle used. Cannabis must remain in its packaging the whole time and cannabis must be secured at all times. Cannabis cannot be left in the delivery vehicle overnight. It is essential you have standard operating procedures in place for all ordering and delivery processes, and it is wise to hire a security consultant to ensure security is ingrained in your process flow.
What else do I have to know?
The permitted hours of “sale, delivery, and curb-side pickup” are from 9AM to 11PM daily. That means deliveries and curb-side pickups must be completed prior to 11PM. The ability that stores now have to deliver cannabis and permit curb-side pickup is limited to the next 14 days. That period will be crucial to demonstrate to the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario that Ontario retailers can comply with all the rules.
You should also establish Standard Operating Procedures for employees involved in curb-side pick-up and delivery.
Important: Get in touch with your insurance provider in advance before you offer curb-side pickup and delivery so that you can ensure your newly-offered services will be protected by insurance. This will likely result in an increase in your insurance premiums.
Harrison Jordan is a Toronto-based lawyer assisting small businesses with applying for their cannabis retail applications, including Retail Operator Licence (ROL) and Retail Store Authorization Applications under the Cannabis Licence Act. Call me at 1-647-371-0032 or email me. One reason to call Harrison Jordan? I only focus on cannabis-related matters. You want someone on your side that understands the cannabis-related dimensions to your legal issues.
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