On December 21, 2020, the Premier of Ontario announced a Provincewide Shutdown which all licensees are required to comply with. The Provincewide Shutdown will go into effect as of Saturday, December 26, 2020, at 12:01 a.m. and is expected to last for 14 days in Northern Ontario and 28 days for the remainder of Ontario. The impacts of these time-limited measures will be evaluated throughout this period to determine if it is safe to lift any restrictions or if they need to be extended.
As a result, Cannabis retailers across the province of Ontario will not be permitted to allow patrons to enter the indoor area of their businesses. To support cannabis retail stores licensed and authorized by the AGCO and cannabis consumers in Ontario, the Government of Ontario is allowing those retail stores to complete sales through delivery and curbside pick-up services.
In order to ensure cannabis retail sales by delivery and curbside pick-up are conducted with honesty, integrity and in the public interest, the AGCO has established new temporary Standards to the Registrar’s Standards for Cannabis Retail Stores. The requirements will be familiar to cannabis retailers that provided delivery and curbside pick-up services earlier this year.
The information below is intended to help licensees understand the key requirements for cannabis delivery and curbside pick-up during this period.
- Cannabis retailers must continue to comply with all laws, including the Registrar’s Standards for Cannabis Retail Stores. For instance, they must continue to ensure cannabis is not sold or delivered to anyone under 19 or who appears to be intoxicated, and that cannabis is securely stored.
- Cannabis retailers may sell any item permitted for sale in their retail store for delivery or curbside pick-up. No other items may be sold.
- The maximum purchase amount of 30 grams of dried cannabis (or equivalent) per person remains in place.
- The permitted hours of sale, delivery and curbside pick-up are from Monday to Sunday, between 9 a.m. and 11 p.m. Any items not delivered by 11 p.m. must be returned to the store.
- Cannabis must be provided in its original packaging and delivered to the customer in a way that ensures the contents are not visible to minors.
- Payment may be made using any method acceptable to the cannabis retailer and completed at the time of the order or at the time of the curbside pick-up or delivery.
Requirements for Curbside Pick-up:
- The cannabis retailer or employee must ask for and inspect identification if they suspect a customer is under 25 years old.
- Store staff may only distribute cannabis to customers in areas that are clearly captured by the store’s surveillance cameras.
- Cannabis retailers must comply with all government directives concerning social distancing. The AGCO encourages cannabis retailers to continue practicing physical distancing and to make efforts to promote a safe distance between customers in curbside lineups and safe transactions during curbside payments.
Requirements for Delivery:
- Only cannabis retailers or their direct employees may deliver cannabis and must hold a certification from CannSell. However, the licensee or their direct employee may use a third-party for transportation (e.g. driving a vehicle) if the cannabis is in the secure possession of the licensee or direct employee at all times.
- Cannabis retailers must ensure that cannabis removed from an authorized store for delivery has been ordered by a customer.
- The cannabis retailer or employee must deliver the cannabis to the residential address or private place specified in the order.
- Cannabis must be delivered to a person present at the place of delivery who is at least 19 years of age.
- The cannabis retailer or employee must ask for and inspect identification if they suspect the individual to who the delivery is made is under 25 years old.
- Cannabis retailers are permitted to charge for delivery.
- Cannabis and accessories must be kept secure up until it is delivered to the customer or returned to the store.
- Cannabis retailers must record and retain the name and address of the purchaser and the residential address or private place where any cannabis is delivered.
For ease of reference, the Standards that have been updated or newly established are: 1.9, 8.1.8, 9.0, 9.1, 9.2, 9.3, 9.3(1), 9.3(2) and 9.4.
Cannabis Retailers are reminded that, in addition to provincial health measures, some municipalities and local medical officers of health have added their own regional restrictions or requirements.
Follow the AGCO’s Twitter account for regular updates.
The AGCO remains committed to protecting public safety and ensuring cannabis is sold, picked-up and delivered in a responsible manner. The AGCO continues to work closely with the Government of Ontario and the Ontario Cannabis Store to find ways of supporting Ontarians and the sectors we regulate throughout this difficult time.