In June 2021, the BC Ministry Public Safety and Solicitor General announced that starting July 15, 2021 BC retail cannabis licensees were allowed to deliver non-medical cannabis products directly to consumers.
Quietly, delivery continues to expand with two huge providers, DoorDash and Uber Eats getting in on the action. In April 2022, DoorDash began cannabis delivery services in Toronto and in mid-April 2023, Uber Eats announced that it will add some BC cannabis stores to its app.
Though, according to section 4.5.2 of the BC Cannabis License Handbook, cannabis can be delivered by a delivery person or a common carrier, at this time Uber Eats is only accepting orders via the Uber Eats app but leaving delivery to the CRS licensee and the licensee’s staff. A total of 13 cannabis store licensees in Vancouver, New Westminster and Victoria were participating in the Uber Eats program when it launched.
In a recent Business in Vancouver article “Uber Eats to add cannabis to its B.C. platform”, Uber Eats Spokesperson, Keerthana Rang, said that “Businesses choose to be on Uber Eats because it allows them to attract new customers, grow their existing customer base, generate repeat orders, and increase the visibility of their brand”.
The reality may be far different, though. Industry insiders who spoke with BIV said that it could be a double-edged sword with Uber Eats claiming much of the profit from delivery. Jesse Dahmi, Inspired Cannabis cofounder, told BIV that “it’s no different than with restaurants that offer takeout”, explaining further that “Restaurant owners have complained that it is not economical because DoorDash or Uber get the lion’s share of the benefit of the sale”.
Though DoorDash is currently not offering delivery in BC, it may be just a matter of time. Time will tell how it affects cannabis retailers’ profit margins.
Delivery rules and regulations are confusing, and the cannabis delivery landscape is changing. If you need help understanding or implementing cannabis delivery, the retail cannabis license consultants at Thrive can help.Book a Free 30-Minute Consultation Today!