The Ontario government lengthened an emergency order allowing licensed cannabis stores to offer curbside pickup and delivery, giving marijuana retailers an extra week during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
The emergency order had been scheduled to end on July 22.
However, the Ontario government said Thursday it was extending that emergency order and others until July 29.
Earlier this month, Ontario cannabis store operators expressed disappointment that the government would allow the order to expire.
Such a move, they argued, would leave the government-operated Ontario Cannabis Store (OCS) online retailer as the province’s only legal recreational marijuana source permitted to deliver product to customers’ homes.
Badyr Valcarcel, director of retail operations for Ontario cannabis retailer Shiny Bud, said the company stopped offering delivery in late June, amid expectations the order would expire shortly, “only because we want to offer a consistent customer experience.”
“From a delivery perspective, as much as we’d love for (delivery) to stay and be a permanent fixture in the (Ontario) cannabis retail industry, right now we’ve basically decided not to offer that service, for now, until the dust has settled from all of this,” he said.
“The toughest part from our perspective is keeping the resources in place as the emergency order keeps getting extended and extended, right?” Valcarcel added.
“It’s hard for retailers to plan accordingly without any clear direction, or clear decisions at this point, from the government.”
Solomon Israel can be reached at [email protected]