Ontario cannabis consumers will soon have new options including weed delivery

Published Nov 26, 2019 01:00 p.m. ET
iStock / Ivan-balvan

Canada introduced the legalization of cannabis a little over one year ago, but legislation is not without its problems, with one of the biggest being that each province was afforded the ability to self-govern recreational dispensary sales.

Ontarians were some of the least excited to see the first day of legal marijuana products since the only option made available in the province was to buy weed online. It was a process that was nearly impossible to complete, with failing servers, out of stock product, and a 3-day minimum waiting period that kept most cannabis enthusiasts going back to their pre-legalization dealer, rather than splurging to celebrate with legally purchased goods.

The introduction of the recreational dispensary

Impatient consumers awaited the arrival of a storefront recreational dispensary for several months before learning that the provincial government has decided on a lottery system in order to restrict the number of stores, promising a fair shot at the opportunity for a license for anyone who could prove to be financially capable.

Unfortunately, only a handful of spots were doled out, and Ontarians who didn’t reside in one of the winning regions were left disappointed once again. Online distributors were left out of the lottery, and hot topics like cafes and weed delivery services were completely banned, but it’s looking like all of that is finally about to change, as the provincial government just announced its future plans for privatizing recreational dispensary locations and allowing weed delivery services to flourish.

When will these changes come into effect?

Though there is no solid promised date for these exciting new changes, consumers will soon be able to buy weed online directly from producers, which should help to tackle the high-cost problem that so many customers have with legal cannabis. Weed delivery through apps similar to Just Eat is also being given consideration, as official decide on exactly how to proceed with removing the monopoly that is currently held by the provincial government. There has also been discussion surrounding the cannabis tax with whispers about it being reduced, but nothing is quite set in stone yet.

Providing fair and equal access to cannabis for all

Right now, the only legal way for Ontarians to buy weed online is to go directly through the Ontario Cannabis Store’s (OCS) website, which is a problem for those who can’t wait 3-7 days for their purchase, and who don’t have access to a recreational dispensary of their own. Weed delivery at this point is an essential service that could help to bridge the gap between interested consumers, medical patients, and a lack of dispensaries, which could provide a much-needed boost to the cannabis industry.

The hope with this new idea is that making the market more competitive will help to reduce the presence of black-market dispensaries and to boost sales for legal and properly licensed distributors, but that’s not really what cannabis consumers are concerned about. What they need is a trustworthy, affordable, reliable, and accountable legal option so that they don’t feel the need to shop outside of what are often safer and more highly regulated cannabis products.

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