The cannabis industry in Canada is swiftly responding to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis. Our federal government has deemed medical cannabis production essential to our healthcare infrastructure. Access to legal medical cannabis products, including capsules and creams, is critical for patients.
However, depending on where you live, your neighbourhood cannabis retailers may only offer click-and-collect or delivery options for the next few weeks. Medical cannabis continues to be available online for those who have a prescription. Several clinics across Canada offer virtual consultations, making it easy to follow physical distancing guidelines.
Remember, your province could change its ruling on cannabis stores as the situation evolves.
Here’s what this means for cannabis consumers in Canada
In many provinces, you can still support your local retailers by shopping their online inventory.
When you shop online, you avoid taking a trip to the store. You can pick up your package at your local Canada Post outlet when you are there for your regular mail. These central postal locations are practicing physical distancing and implementing additional sanitary measures to keep Canadians safe.
Many cannabis stores are also now offering click-and-collect so you can order online and quickly “collect” by fastlaning, tapping your card, and grabbing your purchase. Some stores are also offering curbside pickup and additional methods of online payments to further support physical distancing.
In all cases, age verification identification is required. However, you can assign someone else to pick up your cannabis package if necessary.
Where to order cannabis from to support your local economy
Cannabis retailers and producers remain open for essential business across the province. To reduce traffic to storefronts and encourage physical distancing, click-and-collect is encouraged, as well as traditional phone-in ordering. This includes all BC Cannabis Stores.
Many are going the extra mile to accommodate customers, too. For example, Clarity Cannabis is now offering the first hour of operations to those with disabilities and seniors who may need more assistance.
Other patrons are being asked to help flatten the curve by shopping online. You can shop and ship through Canada Post for a flat fee of $5+HST. Retailers including Spirit Leaf and Buddha Barn are participating. Buddha Barn also notes that they will not be taking cash payments at this time.
With storefronts in Alberta still open for business, places here are taking extra measures to keep customers and staff safe.
For example, many retailers like Canna Cabana are welcoming customers inside with a squirt of complimentary hand sanitizer. At their busier locations, they have customer limits that support physical distancing. Debit terminals, doorknobs, countertops, and displays are being wiped with antiviral and antibacterial cleaning agents at increased intervals. They are encouraging customers to pay with debit or credit cards and they’ve removed marketing materials and brochures to prevent contamination.
Many of your favourite local retailers like Crown Cannabis and Fire & Flower Cannabis Co. are also offering click-and-collect for a stress-free pre-ordering experience.
The provincial website’s section for cannabis does not mention the current COVID-19 situation. Rather, public health information is discussed by way of “allowable businesses” in general. So far, cannabis is included.
Stores are currently still open and agricultural production has not been explicitly prohibited by the provincial government. You can practice better physical distancing via online ordering, though. It’s also never been easier to order cannabis online, so if you haven’t tried, now’s the time.
Living Skies Cannabis’ website offers a simple sign-up for same-day delivery. You’ll need to login or create an account before shopping or checking specific shipping info.
Fire and Flower locations offer the Spark Perks program where you’ll receive 20% off your next order and the ability to order online plus skip the line. Larger locations are also offering curbside pickup and fastlane pickup options. The Pot Shack seems to be business as usual with their online shopping, Purolator delivery, or curbside pickup options doing their part to help people stay home.
Manitoba is still technically open for business, but major retailer Tokyo Smoke has decided to close its corporately-owned locations to help flatten the curve. You can order online via their website and access their entire inventory. You can now participate in click-and-collect as well as pickup at either of the two locations. Note that only those in Manitoba can order cannabis for shipment to their local postal outlet, but accessories can be shipped anywhere in the country.
Bonus? If you live within certain areas of Winnipeg, you’re eligible through Pineapple Express Cannabis Delivery for free same-day shipping or you can opt to pay $15 and receive your order within 2 hours.
In our home province, things are quite different. Cannabis stores only offer click-and-collect or delivery options. Ontarians can also order directly from the Ontario Cannabis Store (OCS).
You can support your local retailers by shopping online through their websites. The Green Organic Dutchman is also still accepting new medical patients and can help connect potential patients with prescribing doctors.
Quebec’s cannabis is governmentally-controlled through the Société québécoise du cannabis (SQDC). It remains open as a priority enterprise Monday to Saturday and offers delivery to your local Canada Post outlet.
Retail stores continue to remain open in New Brunswick but store hours and procedures have been updated. Be sure to check your local store before you head out! Stores will also not be accepting cash payments or product returns at this time. Cannabis NB Express pickup remains available. Shop inventory from your local store, pay with your credit card and watch for the 'Ready for Pickup' email to hit your inbox. Cannabis NB has also switched their courier provider to Purolator which provides 90% of the province with one-day shipping (note, for those in more remote areas Canada Post is available to provide two-day shipping).
While stores remain open, hours may be affected. Physical distancing measures are also being taken. It’s best to call ahead to put your order in and arrange a general pickup time.
You’ll need your online access code to access the online options.
Prince Edward Island
Newfoundland & Labrador
Another province that has temporarily closed its physical cannabis shops, the provincial government has said online businesses can remain in operation.
This means you’ll be able to order your cannabis from your favourite local retailers like High North and Tweed, which offer click-and-collect services. If your preferred retailer doesn’t have an online shop yet, it’s likely coming very soon.
Cultivation has also been permitted to continue, with additional COVID-19 regulations being implemented.
Nunavut’s cannabis industry has been digital from day one and you can still order online from Canopy Growth and AgMedica.
AgMedica’s grow facility is still operating in Ontario, but like TGOD, under increased physical distancing, sanitation, and staff screening measures to keep everyone in the community safe.
North West Territories
While the shops remain open, so too does e-commerce. You can shop for your cannabis products from the government-controlled Cannabis Commission website.
So far, the legal recreational cannabis stores here remain open and you can call ahead to places like The Herbary and The Pot Hole to arrange a quick pickup.
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