Same day delivery trials happen in SK and MB

Aug 15, 2019

The provinces of Saskatchewan and Manitoba have begun testing same-day cannabis delivery, thanks to their liberal retail policies, which permit private sectors to operate online stores. As a result, there has been an upsurge in online cannabis delivery start-ups, which offer recreational cannabis users an online purchase option with guaranteed same-day delivery. In contrast, according to retail regulations in other provinces, such as Ontario and British Columbia, online cannabis retail is controlled by the province, where the government acts as the wholesaler between licensed producers and retailers.

“Saskatchewan has taken the approach where they are friendly to private enterprise, and things like online cannabis sales. So you can order from us, and we’ll offer you a one- or two-hour delivery option, and that’s how you can get your cannabis. So essentially, [the delivery service] will get a notification once someone has put in an order in our system. They’ll send a courier out for the delivery and that courier will check the customer’s ID, and make sure the product is in the right person’s hands.”

Adam Coates, Chief Commercial Officer of Westleaf Inc. in interview with the Financial Post

​Super Anytime Inc. is a third-party app which will soon become available in Manitoba and Saskatchewan to offer consumers a platform to order cannabis online. Ian Delves, founder and president of ​Boozer Inc., an alcohol delivery service that owns ​the app explains that unlike a traditional online store, Super Anytime will act as a “connector” between a retailer and a delivery service.

Through Super Anytime, customers will be able to select their products, order and pay for them. Subsequently, the delivery service will collect the order from a specific retailer (that Super Anytime has an agreement with), and will deliver it to the consumer on the same day.

In both Saskatchewan and Manitoba, businesses that have a cannabis retail license for brick-and-mortar retail stores can also sell cannabis online. Moreover, in both provinces, there are no explicit regulations around third-party cannabis distributors such as Super Anytime.

According to Delves, “We do not have a retail licence to sell cannabis in Manitoba. But over the course of a few months, we had many conversations with the LGCA (Liquor, Gaming and Cannabis Authority of Manitoba), and they were not able to cite any instances of non-compliance with respect to our app. So they sent out an email to license holders in the province saying hey if you work with third-party apps, that’s fine.” Third party distributors are not permitted to approve orders of more than 30 grams of cannabis, since this is the maximum amount an individual can possess and share.

Prairie Records is one of three Saskatchewan companies that offer consumers an online purchase option and same-day delivery. In his interview, Adam Coates said that Prairie Records receives between 10 to 30 orders, depending on the week. “I would say consumers are still skewing heavily towards going in-store than ordering online, because they seem to want to learn about a strain, smell it, and see it before buying it. But in the long-run, I believe online cannabis stores will really take off.”