B.C. changes regulations around cannabis sales to permit online purchases
Previous regulations required customers to reserve products online, but pay in person
The provincial government has amended regulations to allow private cannabis stores to sell non-medical cannabis products online for pickup in store.
The announcement came Tuesday from the office of the attorney general, which said private retailers had requested the change due to customer concerns about the COVID-19 pandemic.
The previous rules allowed customers to reserve cannabis products online, but required them to pay in person. Now, customers will be able to pay through a website, app, or by telephone.
Attorney General David Eby says the change "supports public health and safety by reducing the amount of time customers need to spend in stores and allows them to remain physically distanced from employees and each other."
Customers will still be required to pick up purchases in person so that employees can check their identification.
In addition, retailers must include an age-verification tool in their online sales systems.
The province says it is considering another proposal from retailers to allow for delivery of cannabis products, which is currently prohibited for private retailers.
"We've heard from legal cannabis retailers that they want more tools to help increase competitiveness with the illegal market," said Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General Mike Farnworth.
According to the government, any relaxation of rules around delivery would have to adhere to strict standards for preventing youth access to cannabis.