Approximately a week after the province deemed Ontario cannabis dispensaries non-essential businesses, an emergency order has been passed for these dispensaries to be reopened. Some of the major Canadian cannabis companies sent a joint letter to Ontario Premier Doug Ford that initiated this reversal. According to reports, an emergency order was issued this week allowing cannabis dispensaries to reopen as long as they offer pick-up and delivery service.
This emergency order is fantastic news for Ontario cannabis dispensaries and consumers in the province after they were deemed non-essential and asked to shut down until further notice. Initially the order omitted medical and recreational cannabis stores from essential businesses during COVID-19 based on advice from the province's Medical Health Officer
Prior to this emergency order, private Ontario cannabis dispensaries in the province were operating as essential services but the change to this list only exempted the state-run Ontario Cannabis Store to continue operating and serving patients.
This sparked outrage among the privatized cannabis industry and motivated some of the top cannabis stores in the province to come together to advocate for a nation-wide policy change that would allow cannabis stores to operate for the remainder of the lockdown.
With this new emergency order, cannabis dispensaries in the province can now sell their products to customers either through their website or over the phone. In addition, the emergency order allowed customers to pick up cannabis and other edibles directly from the stores. Dispensaries, on the other hand, can offer delivery to their customers provided their employees have been trained under a regulated training session operated by CannSell.
According to the report, this new emergency order will remain active for fourteen (14) days but it could be extended if need be. With these private Ontario cannabis dispensaries open, customers in the province that had previously been denied access to cannabis, can now purchase as much as they want before the 14 day period elapses.