The BC Government has altered regulations, which now allow private cannabis retail stores to sell non-medical cannabis products online and over the phone.
Despite allowing residents to order on websites, apps, or by telephone, the amendments still require in-store pickup of cannabis products.
The Province suggests its decision was over concerns from private retailers about customers visiting stores amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Prior to the changes announced Tuesday, customers could reserve products online, however, were still required to complete payment and obtain their purchases on-location.
By allowing customers to view and purchases products online, the government is hoping it will limit the time being spent in stores, while also permitting physically distanced pickup.
Identification checks are still required hence why in-store pickup will remain in place, however, the government suggested that it is fielding proposals from private cannabis retailers for delivery options. One thing being assessed by the government in these delivery proposals is how retailers would maintain strict standards preventing youth access to cannabis.
“This change responds to a request from private retailers as they continue to follow the mandates of the provincial health officer,” said David Eby, Attorney General. “It supports public health and safety by reducing the amount of time customers need to spend in stores and allows them to remain physically distanced from employees and each other.”
Another amendment to current regulations is allowing retailers and licensees with multiple stores to accept prepaid purchase cards – gift cards – at any of that licensee’s locations or through its online system.
Previous regulations limited gift cards to strictly being used at the store it was purchased.
“We’ve heard from legal cannabis retailers that they want more tools to help increase competitiveness with the illegal market by allowing online sales,” said Mike Farnworth, Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General. “By offering online sales for cannabis products, we can support the growth of a vibrant, legal cannabis industry, while also keeping public safety as our top priority.”
The government feels that allowing online sales, it will increase competitiveness, drawing business from illegal online cannabis stores by offering increased convenience for consumers.
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