Licensed cannabis retailers in Alberta will be legally allowed to sell products online and provide cannabis delivery services in the province starting March 8, 2022. With this phased decision, Alberta followed other major Canadian provinces, where private retailers can sell cannabis to consumers by any means possible. canals. Currently, the AGLC (Alberta Games, Alcohol and Cannabis) controls online cannabis sales and delivery through its website Albertacannabis.org. But from next month, the government-owned retailer will be decommissioned and private cannabis retailers will be given new opportunities to grow their business.
This is great news for private cannabis retailers in Alberta, as you can target a much larger online consumer market – and since many people prefer convenient services like delivery over going to a store, this transition could not have come at a better time. E-commerce and delivery are essential to growing your cannabis retail business and will increase your profits. If you still don’t know how to choose the best e-commerce platform for your cannabis store, check out this blog to learn the basics. Below, find answers to the most frequently asked questions about selling and delivering cannabis online in Alberta.
Can you sell cannabis online and offer delivery to Alberta?
Yes, private retailers can sell cannabis online and deliver it to customers’ homes in Alberta starting March 8, 2022. With recent changes to Bill 80, the Red Tape Reduction Implementation Act, licensed retailers will now be licensed to sell cannabis products on their e-commerce platforms and offer delivery services, including curbside pickup. Retailers will only be allowed to deliver cannabis through contractors or personnel directly employed by the license holder.
You must obtain approval from the AGLC before launching your online sales and offering cannabis delivery services. According to the regulations, you can only sell products on your e-commerce website or a mobile version of it, but the regulator has not allowed the use of third-party applications. Although you could use a third-party service to facilitate your online cannabis store, it is probably best to own your e-commerce platform to stay compliant.
As an authorized retailer, what do I need to sell cannabis online and make deliveries?
You need your own cannabis e-commerce website that is not hosted on a third-party platform. To operate an online cannabis store as an authorized retailer, you must:
- Obtain special approval from the AGLC, in accordance with regulations.
- Meet specific criteria to verify the authenticity of your cannabis e-commerce website and legal license.
- Implement advanced online age verification, as self-attestation or a drop-down date of birth selection was deemed insufficient by the AGLC.
- Do not accept online orders through third-party services or use them for delivery.
- Only ship to Alberta and never to minors or intoxicated consumers.
Provincial online cannabis retailer AGLC has begun the process of withdrawing from the digital market so that private retailers can launch their own E-commerce platforms. AGLC inspectors will regularly inspect cannabis retailer websites to ensure compliance.
How to create a cannabis e-commerce online store?
When setting up your online cannabis e-commerce store, make sure of the following:
- Host your website and e-commerce on the same server for better organic traffic.
- Avoid using iFrame embedded menusbecause they hurt SEO.
- Customize the design of your online store so that it is consistent with your brand image.
- Display products with relevant information and images for better user experience.
- Seamless integration with your cannabis POS for streamlined operations.
In accordance with regulations, licensed cannabis retailers will not be permitted to process online orders placed through third-party cannabis markets not operated by the license holder, and it would be essential to have your own cannabis e-commerce website, verifiable with your Alberta cannabis retail license.
With ready-to-use free platforms like Buddi or custom e-commerce powered by WooCommerce like dabthat seamlessly integrate with Cova POS, launching your Cannabis e-commerce will be an easy process. With multiple plug-and-play options available for display menus, you have the flexibility to design your cannabis e-commerce website in a way that truly reflects your brand and the online customer experience you want to deliver. .
What are the regulations for delivering cannabis in Alberta?
Licensed cannabis retailers may deliver to customers’ homes or offer curbside delivery only through personnel contracted or directly employed by the licensee, or through common carriers. Cannabis retailers may also charge delivery fees for providing these services. Third-party delivery services or any other local delivery service are not allowed, and you could be fined if they don’t follow the regulations.
When making cannabis deliveries, ensure the following:
- Give customers the option to choose a delivery time.
- GPS tracking for employees delivering the order.
- Verification of the age and identity of the customer on delivery.
Some SOPs for cannabis delivery may be different depending on local municipal regulations. But with Cova POS, tablets for order processing and tracking, and our seamless e-commerce integrations, your cannabis delivery program can be easily managed, from receiving online orders to processing payments and final transactions recorded. in sales reports. Platforms like Buddi and Dabber seamlessly integrate with Onfleet, helping you streamline your delivery operations, efficiently handle large orders, and deliver an exceptional customer experience.
How can I promote my cannabis e-commerce store and drive online traffic?
If you have your own online website with native e-commerce tools, you’ll have better opportunities to leverage local SEO and get higher rankings for cannabis products on Google. Additionally, creating regular blog posts for your website is a great SEO practice to improve organic traffic and online visibility. Of course, announcing the launch of your cannabis e-commerce platform on social media and promoting it regularly while adhering to marketing restrictions will also help drive traffic to your online cannabis store.
A independent cannabis e-commerce site provide you with relevant customer information including demographic data such as age, gender, location and how people found your website will help you analyze consumer behavior and influence future purchases. With customer data held by retailers, you can create mailing lists for direct marketing and offer promotions based on specific shopping behavior. All this information, directly available via the COVA Cannabis POS system, will help you generate reports that you can analyze to better target customers, improve online user experience, and build a direct relationship with your customers.
Own your cannabis e-commerce in Alberta and grow your business
Don’t fall into any trick all-in-one cannabis tech solutions offered as a bundle, because either your online orders will be facilitated via third-party marketplaces, or you will not have direct access to customer data. Your online cannabis retail store will also not be compliant with AGLC regulations, nor will you be able to own the customer relationship, which is essential to growing your business. Your best bet is to launch a freelance cannabis e-commerce platform with all the features outlined above to help you thrive. With Cova POS and our versatile integrations with various e-commerce and delivery solutions, you can choose the options that best suit your needs and scale your business while staying regulatory compliant. Click below to get started with cannabis e-commerce and delivery to your retail store in Alberta today.
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