Attached is a letter from the Association of Canadian Cannabis Retailers (ACCRES) membership to the Solicitor-General, Hon. Mike Farnworth, calling on the government of British Columbia to further modify cannabis retail regulations in support of physical distancing during the COVID-19 health emergency. ACCRES is seeking your support of these measures, which we believe are in line with what other jurisdictions across Canada are adopting.
ACCRES is specifically calling on BC to follow the recent move by Ontario, which in response to COVID-19 has moved to allow private cannabis retailers to take online payment and make door-to-door delivery of cannabis products. Both Saskatchewan and now Ontario have allowed online payment and direct delivery with no significant complications or negative consequences, and we believe these regulatory changes are appropriate for BC as well.
We believe that the citizens of BC stand to benefit from these changes, as they will help to reduce in-store traffic and lineups caused by physical distancing requirements as our economy re-opens. This should further reduce the chances of spreading COVID-19, something we believe should be the ultimate priority of any regulated system right now.
Finally, we believe this measure is important in allowing licensed, regulated, and tax-compliant retailers a means of competing with unregulated retailers, who are currently quite openly selling cannabis on-line or offering in-person delivery options. With municipal resources currently very constrained and bylaw officers unable to enforce against these proliferating operators, we believe offering these options to regulated retailers could help compliant businesses to compete them out of the market instead.
ACCRES ask that you support these initiatives that are designed to re-enforce regulated cannabis retailers’ efforts to continue serving their customers in a way that protects public health to the greatest extent possible.
Jaclynn Pehota Special Advisor
Association of Canadian Cannabis Retailers (ACCRES)