NEWS BRIEF

Demand for cannabis delivery soars as Canada Post restricts service

Canada Post, which ships most cannabis in the country, will no longer request signatures for deliveries as part of enhanced safety measures to help contain the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus.

Adult-use marijuana deliveries handled by Canada Post will go to local post offices for pickup, a prospect that might impact online demand in provinces relying on the federal courier if customers find it unappealing.

At the same time, demand is increasing sharply for delivery services.

Cannabis stores across Canada – both online and in stores – reported unprecedented demand in recent days as the country enacts social distancing measures to help contain the worsening outbreak.

Canopy Growth on Tuesday announced the closure of its corporate-owned stores and a pivot to e-commerce.

More companies are expected to follow suit.

Oakville, Ontario-based Pineapple Express Delivery is conducting doorstep deliveries where it operates – in Saskatchewan, Manitoba and parts of Ontario.

CEO Randy Rolph said he has taken precautionary measures to reinforce safety and hygiene procedures of workers and consumers.

“All of our drivers have been fully trained on the health procedures to keep both the driver and client safe,” he wrote in an email exchange with Marijuana Business Daily.

“All our drivers have masks, special gloves that work with smartphones, hand sanitizer and alcohol rubs to clean phones for every client.”

Rolph said Pineapple Express plans to expand service to meet the increasing demand.

“Our volume has tripled in the provinces we are operating in so far. I am sure we should see this grow even higher with the latest news,” Rolph said.

“We are working very closely with the drivers to ensure all special requests are met from the clients. … We are trying our very best to make sure the clients and medical patients can get all the cannabis needs safely and securely in these times of stress due to the COVID virus.”

Ontario Cannabis Store (OCS) is working to expand its express delivery service.

Currently, the OCS same- and next-day service is capable of handling a limited number of orders per day. OCS would not disclose that number to MJBizDaily.

After those slots are taken, express delivery is removed as an option at checkout.

“Our service providers are working to expand capacity so we can offer this service to more customers each day,” OCS Communications Director Daffyd Roderick said in a statement.

Click-and-collect services, where customers pay for products online for pickup in store, are also expected to experience higher demand.

Matt Lamers is Marijuana Business Daily’s international editor, based near Toronto. He can be reached at [email protected].

For more of Marijuana Business Daily’s ongoing coverage of the coronavirus pandemic and its effects on the cannabis industry, click here.

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