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Uber Eats and Leafly team up to bring Torontonians cannabis straight to their doors

Oct 17, 2022 | Media Partners, The GrowthOp

This post is presented by our media partner The Growth Op
View the original article here.

Three retailers so far will be taking part in the delivery program

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Torontonians with a taste for cannabis will have another option on their delivery menu thanks to a partnership between Uber Eats and Leafly that kicks off today.

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On the same day Canada marks its fourth anniversary of legalizing recreational cannabis, weed lovers in the city can “order safe, legal cannabis and get it delivered straight to their homes,” notes a statement from the companies.

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On-demand app and website Uber Eats and eCommerce and delivery technology company Leafly maintain the service represents “the first time cannabis delivery will be available on a major third-party delivery platform in the world.”

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Right now, the first three cannabis retailers who will be taking part include Hidden Leaf Cannabis, Minerva Cannabis and Shivaa’s Rose.

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Rules around age and local requirements still apply

As is the case with other delivery options, or when buying in-store, the service will be available to those aged 19 and older.

Customers will be able to place orders from local licensed cannabis retailers via the Uber Eats app which, per The Canadian Press, stores can receive and respond to through Leafly’s software. Uber did not share how much of a cut it and Leafly will take for every sale made through Uber Eats, CP reports, although the former takes a commission of 20 to 30 per cent for most restaurant orders.

Yoko Miyashita, CEO of Leafly, says in the statement that the company supports 200-plus cannabis retailers in the Greater Toronto Area.

Once on the app, users will be able to select “Cannabis” or search for one of the licensed cannabis retailers and check out the offerings of the retailer (remember, those ordering must be within the delivery radius) and place an order. When the delivery person arrives, the customer’s age and sobriety will be checked.

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Since independent third-party delivery people will not deliver cannabis, customers will get their stash brought to them by retailer staff certified in the CannSell program, completion of which is required by Ontario law and is the only approved training program for legally authorized cannabis retailers.

Axios reports Uber had previously partnered with a retailer in Ontario to allow customers to order pot, but they were required to pick up the order themselves.

Delivery could help stub out illegal market: Uber

Helping retailers offer safe, convenient options “will help combat the illegal market,” which still accounts for more than 50 per cent of nonmedical cannabis sales, and help reduce impaired driving,” says Lola Kassim, general manager of Uber Eats Canada, citing figures from the Ontario Cannabis Store (OCS).

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In the spring of 2022, the OCS reported it teamed with the Ontario Provincial Police to explore illicit cannabis. “The results demonstrate that illegal cannabis products had significantly less THC than advertised and contained pesticides not authorized for use on cannabis,” according to the OCS.

In early October, OCS kicked off its “Buy Legal” public education campaign. Running on select platforms until the end of November, the campaign touts the benefits of buying legal cannabis from authorized retailers as opposed to unregulated products from the illegal market.

Earlier this month, the latest OCS report noted that almost 57 per cent of cannabis purchased in the province from Jan. 1 to Mar. 31 was bought through legal channels.

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With regards to possible impaired driving, Kasim noted that a report published last year by Public First showed about 14 per cent of cannabis users have admitted to driving a vehicle within two hours of consuming weed.

“Uber Eats has grown quickly to become a versatile platform usable by diverse businesses large and small,” Kassim says.

One participating retailer, Hidden Leaf, welcomes the service, “We are a small business and this partnership is a great way for us to expand our reach and grow our business across the city,” notes owners Marissa and Dale Taylor.

Ontario retailers call for “levelling” the playing field

In a recently released white paper, the Retail Cannabis Council of Ontario urged the OCS to give up same-day delivery, in which OCS uses a third-party delivery service to provide customers who place their orders by 1:30 p.m. to have it delivered between 5 p.m. and 10:30 p.m.

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“By limiting delivery to Canada Post, which offers a three-to-five-day delivery window, the OCS would effectively remove unfair competition between OCS and the licensed retailer,” the paper contends.

In line with recently changed requirements in Ontario, delivery orders must be placed with a specific store location, delivery orders must originate and be fulfilled from that same store with products that are stored on-premises, weed can only be delivered at times when cannabis retail store is open to the public and pot shops cannot use third-party delivery.

This past summer, B.C. announced that its rules had changed as of July 8 to allow private cannabis retailers of recreational weed to use delivery service providers, according to Stratcan.

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