Oct 17, 2022

By Jeremy Logan

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On Sunday, Uber Technologies Inc.’s food delivery service announced a collaboration with online marijuana marketplace Leafly that will allow it to process marijuana orders for Toronto merchants Hidden Leaf Cannabis, Minerva Cannabis, and Shivaa’s Rose.

Customers must be at least 19 years old.

Orders will be placed through the Uber Eats app, which retailers may access through Leafly’s software and respond to.

Then, the sellers dispatch employees who have completed Ontario’s CannSell cannabis retail education programme to deliver purchases to customers, whose age and sobriety will be verified at the time of delivery.

Uber promoted the collaboration as a strategy to combat the illegal marijuana trade, which authorized marijuana producers have long cited as the cause of declining sales.

In a news release, Lola Kassim, general manager of Uber Eats Canada, said, “We are partnering with industry leaders like Leafly to help retailers offer safe, convenient options for people in Toronto to buy legal cannabis for delivery to their homes, which will help combat the illegal market and help reduce impaired driving.”

According to data released last week by the Ontario Cannabis Store, between the beginning of January and the end of March, nearly 57% of cannabis purchased in Ontario was done so legally.

Because Statistics Canada collected data from consumers, many have expressed concern that the results may be skewed because individuals are less likely to admit to buying illegal marijuana than they are to government agencies.

In 2020, as COVID-19 rules forced the closure of marijuana shops, Ontario briefly permitted cannabis stores to courier orders to customers.

The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (A.G.C.O.), the province’s marijuana regulatory body, attached a number of conditions to the program before it became permanent in March.

Orders must be placed with and fulfilled by specific stores rather than a network of shops, and marijuana can only be delivered to customers when the shop from which it originated is open to customers. These restrictions prevent companies operating cannabis delivery businesses from operating entirely or primarily through delivery.

The A.G.C.O. prohibits delivery by other parties, and only individuals having a retail store authorization or their staff are authorized to courier merchandise.

As a result, couriers for Uber Eats who bring snacks won’t also deliver marijuana. To fulfil orders submitted through the Uber platform, stores will employ and train their own personnel.

Uber declined to disclose the percentage of each sale made through Uber Eats that it and Leafly will receive. However, for the majority of restaurant orders delivered through Uber Eats, Uber charges a commission of 20% to 30%.

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