Summer student Jennifer Glied-Goldstein posted "Cannabis, Curbside Pick-up, & COVID-19" on Canada Cannabis Legal on July 27, 2020.
Cannabis, Curbside Pick-up & COVID-19
As part of the Ontario Government’s pandemic measures, under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act, it issued Ontario Regulation 128/20 Pick Up and Delivery of Cannabis (the Order). The goal of the Order was to drive economic growth and job creation through privately-owned cannabis retailers in the province, in response to COVID-19 social-distancing regulations. The Order allowed every authorized holder of a cannabis retail store licence, within the meaning of the Cannabis Licence Act, 2018, to provide cannabis pick-up and delivery services, subject to conditions.
The conditions included but were not limited to:
- Payment: The retailer was required to receive payment before the product was picked up or delivered.
- Pick-Up Location: The location for product pick-up had to be in an outdoor area in close proximity to the retail store.
- Hours of Operation: Sale or delivery had to occur between 9 a.m. and 11 p.m.
- Delivery Address: The product was required to be delivered to the residential address specified in the order.
- Age Restrictions: The product must be delivered to the purchaser (or another person who resides at the place of delivery) who is at least 19 years of age.
The End of the Order
On Wednesday, July 22, 2020, the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO), which oversees the province’s cannabis industry, issued an information bulletin announcing that it would be ending this temporary pandemic measure. Thursday, July 23, 2020, was the last day for pick-up and delivery.
The government explained it had intended for the Order to expire alongside the end of the declaration of emergency, on July 24, 2020. However, the AGCO bulletin was linked to an old version of the Cannabis Order, which stated that the cannabis pick-up and delivery Order was to last “for the duration of the emergency.” The Order was amended on July 15, 2020, to remove the language “for the duration of this Order” and it was replaced with “this Order is revoked on July 29, 2020, unless it is extended.”
The Future of Pick-up and Delivery, Permanently
The Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC) wrote a letter asking the Ontario government to reconsider its decision and make regulatory amendments to the Cannabis Licence Act, 2018, to make delivery and pick-up permanent for legal, privately-owned cannabis retailers. The OCC feels the loss of the program will impact public health and safety, revenue, and jobs. It argues that the AGCO’s decision “will create a marketplace in which independent, legal retailers will not be able to compete with the illegal market or with the government-run Ontario Cannabis Store, which will force retailers to reduce expenditures, cut jobs, and undermine the viability of the sector more broadly.” See the link for the full letter: https://occ.ca/wp-content/uploads/Amendment-to-allow-for-delivery-and-curbside-pick-up-for-recreational-retailers.pdf.
We will keep you informed as this unfolds.
For questions about any of the information that appears in this article, contact cannabis business lawyer Whitney Abrams at email@example.com.