Same Day Cannabis Delivery Being Tested in Toronto

The government-run cannabis industry is attempting to catch up to the rest of the country.

toronto marijuana delivery iStock / Ivan-balvan

A new pilot program in Canada is letting you get cannabis delivered to your door, legally.

This new program is allowing people within certain areas, (at the moment Toronto), to get same-day and next day marijuana delivery. 

While the program may expand in the future, it won’t be the first province with cannabis delivery in Canada.

What Exactly is the Delivery Program?

When it comes to marijuana in Canada, Ontario is still playing some catch-up.

The province is not the first to start a marijuana delivery program, with Manitoba and Saskatchewan having already done so, successfully. However, Ontario’s cannabis market is run by the province itself, which has caused some delay when it comes to attempts at expansion in the industry. 

While there are regular marijuana stores, the provincial government is the main retailer for cannabis, and it runs the show. The other provinces with delivery services have third party companies doing so.

Currently, the Ontario Cannabis Store, the parent retailer, has a delivery system through Canada Post, but the wait can be up to a week in some areas.

Earlier this January, the province put out tender inviting bids for the same day delivery program to begin. 

The contract, which was going to be worth around half a million dollars, was canceled later in April due to problems with the delivery program already in place, including delays, shipping problems, order issues, and more. There were more than 1,000 complaints when the province decided to retract their offer.

Now almost into 2020, the program is getting its start in Toronto, Ontario. For those inside the designated areas, same-day cannabis delivery is available with the possibility of expansion in the future.

The service isn’t the cheapest, with same-day delivery coming out around $14 dollars with taxes and next-day delivery coming in at around $12. This is compared to black market dealers who will deliver for free, which is a problem.

At one point, the Ontario government offered $5 dollar three-day delivery, however, that idea was pulled.

To get it delivered to you on the same day, you need to place the order before 1 p.m., or by midnight if you want it the following day.

Marijuana in Ontario

Ontario isn’t the most developed province when it comes to its marijuana industry.

Out of all the provinces, Ontario is the most populated, yet only has 24 retail outlets, the fewest in the country. Alberta has over 300 stores open in the province.

The low number of retail outlets is one of the main reasons being used to explain the low number of sales so far in Canada. 

An extensive black market in the country has also put a damper on sales, as the illicit products are cheaper and more accessible than the legal stuff. In 2019, 71 percent of Canadian marijuana sales are expected to come from the black market.

Plus, the average cost of a gram of marijuana in Canada is around 9 Canadian dollars, which is around 7 American dollars. On the black market, Canadian marijuana is going for around 5 to 7 dollars, which does not include taxes that add more to your overall purchase that legal customers have to deal with.

Part of the reasoning behind Ontario starting to develop the same-day delivery program was to help combat the large black market that still has its hold on the country. Not only would delivery make it more accessible, but the low number of retail outlets would not be as much of a problem.

Recently, Ontario has made moves to open more retail locations, but the province still has an uphill battle to face, as the costs of black market cannabis are cheaper and the current delivery system has some issues.

When marijuana first became legal in Oct. 2018 for Canadians, the province begin offering marijuana delivery, but it soon became fraught with problems.

Over 100,000 orders were placed in the first 24 hours, which probably made things a lot more complicated, but wrong shipments and delays made things turn from bad to worse quickly.

Still, while demand has worn down since then, there are still problems with the pricing, as legal marijuana tends to be much more expensive and harder to find in Ontario. The tax rate for marijuana in the province can be up to 13 percent, depending on the product and if the customer is a medical patient.

The cannabis excise tax is the main tax for dispensaries with flowering material being taxed at $0.25 per gram, non-flowering material at $0.075 per gram and Viable seed/seedling at $0.25 per seed. 

Cannabis Delivery

Cannabis delivery programs are probably one of the best perks of legal recreational weed. Luckily, as legalization spreads, so do the opportunities for such perks.

In Ontario, the program is going to be pricey, but that is not concrete and will hopefully lower over time.

In Manitoba and Saskatchewan, the delivery options are similar to those in California, which allowed the whole state delivery services earlier this year. 

In Canada, companies like Pineapple Express and Super Anytime allow dispensaries to sell products to customers through an app, which is then delivered to their home. Many see the delivery service with a huge potential to curb the black market in the years to come, as well as helping expand the cannabis industry in Canada.

The delivery services are popular in the provinces, with anywhere from 40 to 100 orders a day in some places, with the programs and companies gaining more customers as time goes on.

In America, only Oregon and California have marijuana delivery programs available. While some other states have delivery available to medical patients, there is still a lot of room to grow when it comes to the cannabis delivery service.


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