UberEats now delivering weed in Toronto!

UberEats now delivering weed in Toronto!

Consumers in Toronto can order cannabis via the food delivery platform Uber Eats through a partnership with local dispensaries and the online marijuana resource Leafly, which launched on Monday. With this new service, you can have your favorite herb delivered right to your doorstep!

Lola Kassim, general manager of Uber Eats Canada stated that they're partnering with industry leaders like Leafly to help retailers offer multiple options for people in Toronto to purchase legal cannabis--this will reduce the amount of driving under the influence as well as aid in combating illegal markets. According to Kassim, "We have invested heavily in our delivery business and selection has expanded tremendously. Uber Eats has grown quickly to become a versatile platform usable by diverse businesses large and small."

The new program will allow Toronto residents who are 19 years or older to order cannabis using the Uber Eats app. There are three licensed retailers that they can choose from: Hidden Leaf Cannabis, Minerva Cannabis, and Shivaa’s Rose. The orders will be filled by employees of the dispensaries who have been certified by CannSell--which is a training and certification program that is required in Ontario.

The partnership between Uber Technologies and Leafly is designed to help address competition from Canada’s illicit cannabis market and improve access for consumers, patients, and city safety.

Kassim told CBC Toronto that they see this new initiative as a critical step in discouraging impaired driving and that it is also an effective way to combat the illegal cannabis market. "We're providing an option that goes beyond in-store and pick-up," Kassim said. "It's also an option for consumers on a platform like Uber Eats, which many Torontonians already know and love."

Data from the Ontario Cannabis Store (OCS), the province’s only wholesaler of legal recreational marijuana, indicates that approximately 57% of cannabis bought between January and March was purchased through the regulated supply chain. The figure is based on information provided by consumers to Statistics Canada; however, many people are unwilling to admit cannabis use to government agencies, which may affect accuracy.

Home Delivery Launched During Pandemic

The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) launched home delivery of cannabis by regulated businesses in 2020 with some new restrictions put in place to address the COVID-19 pandemic. Licensed shops could use couriers to deliver products to customers, but these rules are now permanent as of March.

Cannabis delivery services in California must follow certain regulations, including being part of a licensed brick-and-mortar shop and not deriving their business primarily or exclusively through delivery sales. Orders must be placed with and filled by a specific store rather than a network of shops, and deliveries to third parties are not allowed. All orders must be delivered while the dispensary filling the order is open for business. Because purchases are delivered by dispensary employees, food orders through Uber Eats must be placed separately from cannabis delivery orders.

Customers can open the Uber Eats app, select the “cannabis” category or search for one of three available retailers to place an order. The customer must be within the shop’s delivery radius to confirm order placement. Once accepted by the retailer, customers will receive a notification detailing the approximate delivery time. When dispensary staff arrives with a purchase, they are required to check the customer's age and sobriety in accordance with Ontario regulations and CannSell training.

Marissa Taylor, co-owner of Hidden Leaf, said that she decided to partner with Uber Eats and Leafly because leafing through a phone screen is now the primary way people find new businesses, and she wants her location in North York to be easily accessible to as many potential customers as possible. Hidden Leaf already has a loyalty program in place.

"Our goal was always to make cannabis accessible to as many people as possible," she said. "E-commerce seemed like the best way to reach more people."

This is Uber Eats' first partnership with a company that delivers cannabis products, rather than requiring the customer to pick up their order from a dispensary. In November, Uber Eats launched a program in Ontario that allowed consumers to order cannabis through the app from Tokyo Smoke retail shops. But without delivery partners like Leafly, customers had to visit a dispensary themselves to retrieve their orders.

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