Cannabis News

Alberta Online Cannabis Sales for the Private Market Only

Since March 8, 2022, alberta Games, alcohol and Cannabis (AGLC) closed the alberta online cannabis sales section of their website. When you visit their site, this is the message that appears:

“Thanks for the visit. alberta Cannabis no longer offers online sales. alberta has more than 700 licenses cannabis retailerssome offering online ordering, which will continue to provide consumers with legal product choices.

All online cannabis sales in alberta must now have in-person retail store suppliers. Businesses wishing to sell online are responsible for obtaining approval from AGLC Inspections Directorate. Among other things, this involves ensuring that age checks are in place on their website before making any sales. In addition, authorized stores are responsible for arranging delivery. They may offer shipping options through Canada Post, an approved courier, or arrange their own delivery. If they choose to use their own delivery drivers, drivers will need a SellSafe certificate to verify the recipient’s age.

Challenges for rural communities

As of this writing, there are 101 out of 756 authorized cannabis retailers in alberta currently authorized for sale online. That’s only 13% of the retail industry to handle all online sales for alberta. And, there’s no guarantee that these 101 retail stores offer mail-in options like the AGLC did. It is up to the stores to offer local delivery, mail delivery or both.

This market crisis has created challenges for rural communities. It’s not a problem for people in Edmonton or Calgary. But, in remote northern parts of the province, running to a store or arranging local delivery is not an option. With many businesses currently only offering local delivery, this has left many rural Albertans feeling dry. Only time will tell if this decision leaves an opening to the illegal market.

Retailers wanted a private market but weren’t ready

Many retailers have pushed the government to be able to sell online and have full participation in the market. Selling online allows stores to reach a wider audience. It also allows customers to order a full range of products online instead of only being able to buy cannabis through AGLC. The province’s online sales were only a small part of the market at 1.5%. However, there are huge opportunities with local deliveries and more products online. It will be interesting to see what percentage of the market online sales will represent in a few years.

Although alberta retailers wanted to privatize online sales, many were not ready for the March 8, 2022 rollout. The low number of participating stores is mainly due to restrictions in place. Retailers call for a drop in the ban on third party delivery; and more details on strict age verification rules. In time, as others test the waters, we’re sure to see more players in the alberta online cannabis market.

Online cannabis sales in Alberta

Cannabis at your doorstep

Despite the current challenges, this transition to private sold online in alberta Is exciting. With alberta already in the lead with privatized alcohol sales, it is relaunching the trend with cannabis sales. This decision to open the market will provide Albertans with increased choice and potentially lower costs. The other huge plus is delivery right to your doorstep.

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