Alberta Cannabis Retailers Can Begin Online Sales and Deliveries March 8: AGLC

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Licensed cannabis retailers get green light to sell their products online on March 8 , the same day, the Alberta regulator opens its cannabis sales website and sends it in a puff of smoke.

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In an email to Postmedia, Alberta Gaming, Liquor and Cannabis confirmed the transition would come three months after Bill 80, Alberta’s Red Tape Reduction Act, received Royal Assent and set a 90-day deadline. for the regulator, currently the only licensed online cannabis retailer, to pull out of the digital marketplace and make way for licensed retailers to set up their own e-commerce platforms.

Omar Khan, senior vice president of corporate and public affairs at High Tide Inc., the cannabis retailer behind the Canna Cabana brick-and-mortar stores, said the company’s experience in managing e-commerce and delivery to Ontario would allow it to “hit the ground running” in Alberta.

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“We have already started to set up our dispatch system and have drivers lined up in the areas of Alberta where we operate,” he said.

In an email to Postmedia, AGLC spokesperson Jacqualine Ladouceur said licensed retailers will also need to get regulatory approval before selling products online and offering delivery services by. through staff or subcontractors. And while these retailers can sell products on a mobile version of their website, Ladouceur added, they won’t be allowed to use third-party apps.

Online sales and delivery for Canna Cabana stores in Alberta are expected to work the same as the company’s operations in Ontario, said Khan, which involves selecting the closest store on the retailer’s website, where consumers must confirm that they are of legal age to purchase cannabis before placing an order. which is then issued by a store driver who performs a second identification check at the door.

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However, Ladouceur said, online sales in Alberta will also force retailers to practice a more stringent “age restriction” to prevent underage cannabis from ordering – measures that go beyond self-certification. ‘an appropriate date of birth when invited to a drop-down selection on a website.

“The age barrier in Ontario is not as tight as we would expect in Alberta,” said Khan. “Right now, we are researching various technological options to achieve this. “

In November, when Bill 80 was introduced in the Alberta legislature, Finance Minister Travis Toews said the move would also allow private companies to sell cannabis-related items such as glassware. and designer clothing, and represents an effort to “stop the illegal cannabis trade.” “

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Government officials estimate that the AGLC will only lose about $ 200,000 per year in net operating income by abandoning online cannabis sales, but Khan said the ability to sell cannabis online is a valuable tool. for authorized sellers.

“It’s good for a lot of entrepreneurs who have put their own money on the line and set up legal regulated cannabis stores in Alberta,” he said.

After the transition, AGLC remains responsible for purchasing products from federally licensed producers and distributing them to licensed private retailers while ensuring those retailers comply with regulations, Ladouceur said.

– with files from Ashley Joannou

hissawi@postmedia.com

@hamdiissawi

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