Canada Post expects long lineups of cannabis consumers

Published Apr 13, 2020 09:00 a.m. ET
iStock / AWSeebaran

Most Canadians know that provincially run websites such as OCS are still open to serve the public with all of their favorite cannabis needs, but unfortunately, very few know what the process entails, including the risk that it brings to both consumers and Canada Post workers. Demand for mail delivery has increased exponentially since the spread of COVID-19 was finally confirmed in Canada, as people everywhere try their best to follow the advice of health experts and stay home as much as possible.

The uptick in demand might at first appear as a silver lining of sorts, as the debate over whether or not physical mail carriers are necessary in this new age of technology continues, but the truth is that the increase along with the risks associated with COVID-19 have forced many businesses to make difficult decisions. Canada Post announced in early March that they would no longer deliver packages that require a signature to drop off, which means that age-restricted goods like cannabis won’t be coming to your door anytime soon.

Many Canadian consumers must now buy weed online

As thousands of Canadians try their best to make good decisions moving forward, the majority are opting for delivery services rather than going out to the store to buy things in person, but now that physical dispensaries have been ordered to close in provinces like Ontario, a flood of new customers are expected to join those ranks. Unfortunately, our current mail system is not designed to withstand such a significant increase in online sales, which is overburdening mail carriers.

The decision to forego signature required deliveries

The increase in online sales has forced Canada Post to rethink things, but it was the rise in COVID-19 cases that made them decide to forego doorstep delivery for packages that require a signature. The move was to decrease the risk to mail carriers, as the virus can spread through close contact with other people, something that is necessary in order to obtain a signature from recipients, so instead of forcing carriers to continue, as usual, they’ve decided to reroute these deliveries to physical Canada Post locations to be picked up in person.

Is Canada post tracking still reliable for cannabis packages?

Yes, and no. The most important thing to remember if you do buy cannabis products from an online source such as OCS is that the tracking is reliable while it’s in motion. So, you will get to watch your things move from one location to the next as it slowly makes its way to your city. Once it gets close to you, and the tracker tells you that your package is out for delivery, you might be excited, but don’t get your hopes up too far just yet.

Instead of handing over your long-awaited package like you might be used to, they will drop off a notice that tells you where and when you can pick up your cannabis goods on the next business day. So yes, you’re Canada Post tracking number will still give you an idea as to how far away from you your package may be. It will be off by at least a day in regard to when it will be made available to you. This means that the usual 3-5 day shipping could easily be extended by a few days if it happens to fall on a weekend.

Should I still buy weed online?

In at least a few provinces, if you want to buy from the legal market, you will have no choice but to shop through online cannabis retailers like OCS, so yes, you should most definitely continue to place orders online if you need these kinds of products. However, you should be aware that the wait times for regular mail through Canada Post have skyrocketed, so it might be a good idea to either place an order long before you need it to arrive or to make bulk orders so that you don’t have to go back quite so frequently.

Is this truly a better or safer option?

There is plenty of debate over this decision and whether or not it is truly a good idea for Canada post to avoid all of these deliveries. On the one hand, it does keep the door to door carriers safer, because they don’t have to interact directly with consumers, but the problem is that this decision will force all of those people to go to in-person locations, where they will gather, and still interact closely with anyone who happens to be or work there.

For now, the move is taking a significant load off the backs of Canada Post carriers, but it’s placing it directly onto the shoulders of consumers and workers who work in these physical locations. Many of which are older and choose to stay in this position because it is less physically demanding, which means that they are much more likely to be vulnerable to this highly contagious illness.

These are unprecedented times, and no one knows for sure how the decisions that we make today will continue to impact us all well into the future. All we can really do is make the best decisions based on the information that is currently available, and since this illness is so new, that is a nearly impossible feat that business owners everywhere have taken in stride. We may not agree with this, but we do have to acknowledge the efforts being put forward to combat the spread of COVID-19 among essential workers.

Is weed delivery a safe choice right now

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