On March 8th 2022, new changes and opportunities will come into effect for licensed cannabis retailers in Alberta. Following the closure of the Government of Alberta’s online cannabis store, private retailers will be allowed to open their own e-commerce platforms to conduct online sales and deliveries.
Many provinces across Canada have already approved ecommerce and delivery for private retailers, including British Columbia, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Newfoundland and the Yukon. While delivery was previously a temporary service in Ontario, the province recently passed a bill to permanently allow delivery by licensed cannabis retailers. Licensees that have stores in provinces where online services are already up and running will have a leg up on the Alberta market. Fortunately, we have all the details you need to prepare your business for online sales and delivery in March.
Details on cannabis delivery in Alberta
Licensed retailers seeking to expand from their brick-and-mortar stores to online will need to request an endorsement from AGLC before they can begin their online sales. This request can be made by contacting email@example.com.
Deliveries can be done by the licensee’s staff, through contracted delivery drivers or through common carriers like Canada Post or FedEx. Third-party delivery services including UberEats, SkipTheDishes, DoorDash and Taxis will not be allowed at this time. Standard delivery fees are allowed to be applied to each order.
Individual orders must not exceed 30 grams, but delivery drivers are permitted to fulfill multiple orders at a time, meaning they can carry over 30 grams in their vehicle. Delivery drivers from one retail store cannot deliver products from another retail store, only for their own sales. Products can only be delivered within Albertan borders. Cannabis deliveries must be completed during the open hours of your business and up until 30 minutes after closing.
What are AGLC’s requirements for cannabis delivery drivers?
- Must be at least 18 years of age
- Must have SellSafe certification*
- Must have a copy of your Retail Cannabis Store licence present while conducting delivery*
*Note, these requirements do not apply to common carriers, only to retail licensee staff
Can third-party apps be used for processing orders?
Licensees will not be permitted to use third-party apps or websites to process and fulfill orders for their cannabis store. However, they will be allowed to use third-party services to power certain elements of their e-commerce platform like their website, inventory and regulatory compliance.
What verification steps need to be taken?
Retailers will be required to implement rigorous age-gating on their websites. This is to ensure the safety of minors and prevent them from ordering from the online storefronts. Licensees will also have certain criteria that they will need to have displayed on their website in order for consumers to verify that the site is connected to a valid cannabis license.
What are AGLC’s requirements that must be displayed on retail cannabis websites in Alberta?
- Your licence number
- The name of the licensed premises
- The address of your retail location
- AGLC’s social responsibility material
- A link to AGLC’s cannabis licensee search page
Allowing private cannabis retailers to conduct delivery is a huge step in the right direction, giving consumers reliable access to delivery services and curbside pickup from their favourite cannabis retail stores. This also opens up retailers to new challenges surrounding selling and delivering cannabis from an online platform.
How will delivery impact my Retail Cannabis Insurance and Auto Insurance?
Whether you are planning on having staff use their own cars for delivery or cars owned by your business, becoming aware of the risks surrounding cannabis delivery should be top of mind. Your personal auto insurance policy will not provide coverage when you are transporting products owned by others. This would apply to all cannabis deliveries, since the products in question are paid for ahead of time. Additionally, you will not be covered in the event of an accident, robbery or injury while delivering cannabis products to a customer. Besides taking extreme caution and developing a strong risk management plan, business owners should speak with their insurance broker to determine what options are available to cover delivery exposures.
Commercial Auto and Non-Owned Auto are used by many businesses to provide protection for drivers, their vehicles, and their products. Given that this regulation is new to insurers, they may be hesitant to provide coverage until there is more data available on cannabis delivery in Canada. Any coverage that is provided may come at a higher price. It is best to speak with your broker to determine what coverage is available to your business.
The brokers at Fuse Insurance are here to help you navigate the ever-changing risks that come with running your cannabis business. Please reach out to us with any questions you have regarding the upcoming changes to cannabis retail. Contact us at 1-866-387-FUSE (3873) or get started on your quote now by filling out our retail cannabis form.