Home delivery of cannabis is an advantage for B.C.’s illegal producers that Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth says is ending as of July 15.
B.C. had the biggest illegal cannabis market in Canada when recreational use was legalized in 2018, and Farnworth says allowing online ordering and delivery is another step to a goal of getting to 70 per cent market share for the network of government and licensed retail stores in four years. The COVID-19 pandemic has restricted retail store attendance and illegal dealers have benefited.
“Since the federal legalization of non-medical cannabis, 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 and youth,” Farnworth announced June 17. “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.”
The Association of Canadian Cannabis Retailers praised the move.
“Knowing retailers can start hiring without delay and be ready to better meet customers’ needs when delivery becomes an option is incredibly welcome news,” executive director Jaclynn Pehota said. “Adding convenient home delivery to the mix of knowledgeable staff and regulated product can only serve to make the legal cannabis sector the source of choice for more people.”
The government’s push for market share was also helped June 9, when Farnworth released results of sample testing of illegal cannabis products seized from illegal dispensaries in Metro Vancouver. Of the 20 samples taken from six storefront dealers, 18 contained detectable levels of fungicide or other contaminants, with only three meeting the standards required by Health Canada for legal sales.