Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario, a.k.a. the AGCO, is authorizing cannabis retail stores in Ontario, Canada to offer delivery and curbside pick-up services. This new temporary measure is the result of an emergency order introduced today by the Government of Ontario to help fight against the illegal cannabis market. The order will last for 14 days, with the possibility of an extension if the government’s Emergency Order on business closures is extended.
“We’ve been working closely with the Government of Ontario on ways to support cannabis retail store operators and legal recreational cannabis consumers since the stores were ordered to close following a provincial order declaring a state of emergency,” commented Jean Major, Registrar and CEO of the AGCO. “This new measure helps address consumer demand and maintain a revenue stream for store operators while supporting the government’s broader objectives.”
Authorized cannabis stores will be permitted to sell, deliver, and offer curbside pick-up of cannabis and other items from Monday to Sunday, between 9 a.m. and 11 p.m. The maximum purchase amount of 30 grams of dried cannabis (or equivalent) per transaction remains in place. All involved in the sale and delivery of cannabis must hold certification from CannSell to ensure products are sold responsibly. Retailers must continue to comply with all laws and regulations ensuring cannabis is not sold or delivered to anyone under 19 or who appears to be intoxicated.
Curbside pick-up allows customers to order and pay for their products in advance by phone or online. When the customer arrives at the store for pick up, store staff will bring out the order, which must be in its original packaging, to the customer waiting in an area. The transaction will be captured by the store’s security cameras. Payment must be completed at the time of the order, not during the pick-up.
Only the licensed retailer or an employee may deliver cannabis on behalf of the store. Cannabis must be delivered in its original packaging to the residential address specified in the order and received by the purchaser or another person who resides at the place of delivery who is at least 19 years of age.
During this period, the government is placing a temporary pause on the issuing of retail store authorizations. The AGCO will not issue new store authorizations until the government’s emergency order has been lifted. In the meantime, the AGCO will be able to issue Retail Operator Licences and will continue processing store authorization applications and conducting eligibility assessments to the extent possible, so businesses will be prepared to move forward once restrictions are lifted.
So far, the AGCO has issued 423 Retail Operator Licenses and 59 Retail Store Authorizations. Be sure to subscribe to updates here so you never miss an important cannabis industry development.
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