TORONTO, April 7, 2020 /CNW/ - Cannabis retailers across Ontario welcome today's emergency order by the Ontario government allowing for temporary curbside pickup and direct delivery services to be made available to consumers so long as licensed cannabis storefronts remain closed due to the COVID-19 state of emergency. The move comes after a coalition of concerned retailers was organized by COVA Software and Leafly to ensure the continued viability of Ontario's legal cannabis businesses.
Previous emergency orders had already allowed businesses associated with the sale of beverage alcohol to offer similar services. Equitable treatment for licensed cannabis retailers will help responsible business owners protect against the encroachment of their market share from the illicit market while ensuring safe and effective physical distancing to protect both employees and consumers.
"Within hours of being forced to close our doors, illicit market delivery services started advertising directly on our storefront," said Cameron Brown, spokesperson for The Hunny Pot on Toronto's Queen Street West. "Today's decision gives us a fighting chance to retain our loyal customers and maintain the ability to provide safe, legal and quality cannabis."
Curbside pickup and direct delivery also afford many smaller retailers the ability to generate much needed revenue during this critical time.
"Our store was just opened in early March", said Ryan Caruso of Sault St. Marie's Hello Cannabis, "The Soo has been waiting a long time for their own store and we've been overwhelmed by the way the community has embraced legal cannabis. The last thing we wanted is to lose ground to the illegal market and lay off employees. Today's decision makes it easier for me to keep our business running and keep our team employed."
While today's news is welcomed, many operational details remain to be worked out.
"As the government works to operationalize today's decision, they should make reasonable accommodations to ensure all licensed cannabis retailers can participate," said Mimi Lam, CEO & Co-Founder of Superette, which operates a store in Ottawa and soon in Toronto. "Curbside and delivery services are a great first step and we look forward to collaborating with them to create a framework that allows retailers to provide customers safe access to legal products."
Cova is an award-winning POS and Inventory Management platform designed to streamline cannabis retail. A compliance-first company, Cova not only meets all federal and provincial regulations, but constantly adapts to changing rules to make compliance simple for owners and employees, reducing the risk of infractions and fines. In addition to automated compliance features such as 1-click provincial reports, Cova offers an intuitive, user-friendly design and lightning-fast transaction time. Its technology platform currently powers nearly 90% of Ontario cannabis stores in Ontario, with 65% of all cannabis retailers in Canada choosing Cova. This makes Cova the most robust and reliable cannabis POS system available with virtually no downtime, even on 4/20. Headquartered in Vancouver BC, Cova’s team spans Canada, with offices in Regina, Winnipeg, and Toronto. Learn more at www.covasoftware.com.
As the world's leading cannabis information resource, Leafly's mission is to help people discover, find, and buy cannabis, and empower cannabis businesses to attract and retain loyal customers through advertising and technology services. Learn more at Leafly.ca or download the five-star rated Leafly mobile app through Apple's App Store or Google Play.
About The Hunny Pot Cannabis Co.
The Hunny Pot Cannabis Co. was the first legal retail cannabis store to open its doors in Toronto on April 1, 2019. Owned and operated by Hunny Gawri, The Hunny Pot Cannabis Co. is located at 202 Queen St West, Toronto. The Hunny Pot sprawls over four floors, showcasing legal recreational cannabis products for purchase. You can find more information about the store at www.thehunnypot.com and you can follow the store on Instagram at @thehunnypotcannabisco.
About Hello Cannabis
Hello Cannabis is a Canadian cannabis company focused on creating empowering and educational experiences in the retail cannabis space. As one of the first companies to open and operate a licensed recreational cannabis store in Ontario, Hello Cannabis has built both a proven business model and one of the highest rated reputations for customer experience in Ontario. The goal for Hello Cannabis is to redefine the experience of purchasing cannabis and help dissolve the negative stigma associated with it in order to open the market to new customers. With years of experience within the team and an array of analytics, our stores will offer the best variety of legal cannabis products including dried flower, pre-rolls, edibles, vapes, cannabis extracts, beverages and a large range of cannabis accessories.
About Superette Inc.
Superette is an award-winning Canadian cannabis brand that focuses on creating unforgettable and immersive cannabis retail experiences. The Company currently has one operating store in Ottawa and will be opening stores across Toronto soon. For more information, visit Superette's website at www.superetteshop.com and follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
For further information: Omar Khan, Hill+Knowlton Strategies, 647-985-4401, [email protected]