After the government of Ontario rescinded the emergency order allowing private retailers to provide delivery and online sales, the Ontario Cannabis Store (OCS) continues to be the only legal retailer allowed to offer those services.
Despite complaints from private retailers, the OCS is doing their best to continue to offer the same convenience to customers as they had during the height of the pandemic.
In a partnership with Domain Express, the courier arm of Domain Logistics, the private company that operates the OCS distribution warehouse, the OCS has been providing a same-day or next-day delivery service for a while, along with standard Canada Post shipping. When COVID-19 hit in March, however, Canada Post no longer delivered anything to the door that was age-restricted or required a signature.
According to Daffyd Roderick, Senior Director of Communications and Social Responsibility at OCS, they went from 200 – 300 orders per day to around 6,000 per day at the height of the pandemic.
“We felt that consumers wanted to be able to stay at home, which was the direction at the time,” Roderick says. “We looked at what we were offering in terms of service and decided that we needed to radically scale that up.”
To make it even easier for consumers, and to keep them away from the black market, the OCS replaced their same-day and next-day service, which cost an additional fee and created a free service that would ship orders in one to three days.
Now that pandemic panic has died down a little bit, the OCS has reintroduced Same Day Delivery, which costs $8, and Express Delivery, which is free but takes one to three days to arrive. According to Roderick, the courier service is able to reach 73.5% of the adult population in Ontario, and they now average around 4,000 orders per day. Of those 4,000, approximately 65% choose to use the courier service versus Canada Post.
Same Day Delivery is available to most areas within the Greater Toronto Area, and Express Delivery is available to customers as far as 150 km from the city. The OCS is adding new locations all the time, the most recent additions being Express Delivery to Windsor, London, Peterborough, Clearview Township, Niagara Falls, and the Niagara Region.