Along with Ontario, e-commerce giant Shopify is set to be the only provider of online cannabis sales across the province of British Columbia.
The Liquor Distribution Branch, B.C.’s public alcohol retailer, is the province’s only public seller of cannabis products. The province says that Shopify was chosen over a number of other other bidders.
British Columbia’s LDB has not signed leases on specific retail locations across the province yet.
In terms of Shopify’s e-commerce portal, buyers will be required to input a government ID at the time of sale in order for the transaction to be completed. That same ID will then be verified when the cannabis is delivered. Shopify will also handle the creation of the LDC’s e-commerce Cannabis website that will facilitate both orders from consumers and private retailers.
Along with province run LDB locations, the British Columbia government is also allowing licensed private marijuana retailers to operate in urban areas.
“Shopify was chosen for its proven record of on-time execution, user-friendly design and long-term approach to anticipating consumer needs beyond the implementation phase,” said Blain Lawson, LDB’s general manager and CEO, in a statement sent to MobileSyrup.
“Every decision we make, as we introduce cannabis to our business, is underpinned by the social responsibility we have to our communities, to prevent minors from accessing cannabis, to reduce the criminal element, and to prioritize the health and safety of our customers.”
A 70,000 square foot online cannabis sales distribution centre is also set to be built in Richmond, B.C.
Back in May Ontario also selected Shopify as the province’s sole marijuana online and brick and mortar provider. Along with the Liquor Control Board of Ontario’s (LCBO) Ontario Cannabis Retail Corporation (OCRC) arm, Shopify will handle the province’s online sales. Back in February of 2018, the Ontario government confirmed plans to open 40 standalone stores in the province. Ontario currently has no plans to allow private vendors to sell marijuana.
Now with the federal cannabis legalization date pushed back to October, as well Doug Ford’s conservative government recently taking power in Ontario, it’s unclear if the province’s plan for legal marijuana sales will shift.
It’s likely that Shopify will be brought on as the sole e-commerce provider in other regions of Canada as provinces solidify their plans to meet the Federal Government’s recently revealed October 17th, 2018 deadline legalization deadline.
Shopify has reportedly applied to handle the online sale of cannabis in each province across Canada, but has only heard back from Ontario and B.C. so far.