March 1, 2022
The Government of Ontario has established new rules to enable cannabis retailers to offer delivery and curbside pick-up services on a permanent basis beginning March 15, 2022.
Please note that the new rules for delivery still will not permit cannabis retail stores to operate entirely or predominantly as delivery businesses. The new rules will allow cannabis retailers to continue to safely offer consumers greater choice, convenience and access to legal recreational cannabis.
Effective March 15, 2022, the following NEW rules will apply to cannabis retailers who wish to offer delivery or curbside pick-up:
NEW Requirements for Delivery
Delivery orders must be placed with a specific store location.
Delivery orders must originate and be fulfilled from that same store with products that are stored on-premises.
Cannabis cannot be removed from the store for delivery unless an order has been received.
If cannabis is removed from the store for delivery but the delivery is not completed, the cannabis must be returned to the same store from which the delivery originated on the same day, and it must remain there until the next day on which delivery is attempted.
Cannabis may only be delivered at a time when the physical cannabis retail store is open to the public.
If the store is in a premises whose owner or landlord requires it to be closed to the public during the permitted hours of operation, the store may still complete deliveries between 9:00 a.m. and 11:00 p.m. Examples of such a scenario include retail stores located within malls. However, a store cannot deliver if the landlord or owner requires it to be closed and is an interested person in the holder of the Retail Store Authorization (RSA).
NEW Requirements for Store Websites, Apps or other Similar Online Platforms
For websites, apps or other similar online platforms used for the purposes of the cannabis retail store, licensees must take reasonable measures to ensure that customers accessing them are at least 19 years of age.
Licensees must display the official Ontario cannabis retail seal and make available the applicable RSA information (the authorization number, the holder’s name, the store’s operating name and the store address) on websites, apps or other similar online platforms.
NEW Delivery Requirements to First Nations Communities
Delivery to First Nations communities will be permitted unless the community has requested delivery be restricted.
First Nations band councils wishing to restrict delivery to their community can submit a band council resolution (BCR) to the AGCO. The AGCO will notify all retailers when a BCR is received and the restriction would come into effect 30 days after such notice is provided, after which point any delivery to the First Nations community would not be permitted.
Cannabis delivery and curbside pick-up have been temporarily authorized under the Reopening Ontario (A Flexible Response to COVID-19) Act, 2020.
Current Requirements for Delivery (Still in effect after March 15, 2022)
Delivery can only be done by the RSA holder or their employees. Third party delivery is not permitted.
Deliveries can only be made to a residence or private place in Ontario (for instance, a hotel room would be considered a private place).
Deliveries can be made to a person who is at least 19 years old. If the person appears to be under 25 years of age, the licensee or employee completing the delivery must require the person to provide identification and must be satisfied that the person is at least 19 years old.
Delivery must be at the address specified in the order.
Records of deliveries must be maintained.
Current Requirements for Curbside Pick-Up (Still in Effect after March 15, 2022)
Curbside pick-up transactions must be completed in an area adjacent to the store that is captured by the store’s surveillance system.
Retailers are encouraged to reach out to their local AGCO Inspectors (formerly known as Compliance Officials), who are here to help and support you with additional information and education. If you are unsure who your Inspector is or have misplaced their contact information, please email Compliance@agco.ca with your cannabis retail store’s address to get connected.
Contact the AGCO anytime via the iAGCO online portal or call AGCO Customer Service Monday to Friday from 8:30 am to 5:00 pm at 416-326-8700 or toll free 1-800-522-2876.
Cannabis Licence Act, 2018 (CLA)
The new rules governing delivery and curbside pick-up services on a permanent basis are established in Ontario Regulation 468/18 under the Cannabis Licence Act, 2018 and in the Registrar’s Standards for Cannabis retail stores which will be updated March 15, 2022. Some provisions currently in the Registrar’s Standards will be eliminated to avoid duplication with permanent provisions in the regulation.
Licensees are required to comply with the Registrar’s Standards for Cannabis Retail Stores as well as applicable laws and regulations, including the Cannabis Control Act, 2017, the Cannabis Licence Act, 2018 and Ontario Regulation 468/18.
The AGCO Cannabis Retail Regulation Guide provides information on the laws, regulations and Standards for recreational cannabis retail stores in Ontario.