The news broke in June that licensed cannabis retailers would be allowed to offer delivery services starting July 15, 2021. As retailers rejoiced, these new privileges prompted a need to make some changes to the Cannabis Retail Store License Terms and Conditions Handbook, not only to add a section on delivery but to make a few more amendments, as well.
In addition to the already established rules about security, including an audible intruder system and fire alarm system monitored by a third-party, amendments have been added requiring retailers to have their video surveillance systems running at all times, even when the store is closed, and the footage has to be kept for review for at least 30 days. A written notice must be posted about these cameras as well, informing patrons that video surveillance is being used.
A new amendment was also added concerning product storage, saying that off-site storage of cannabis is not permitted.
Cannabis Displays and Sensory Jars
New to the Handbook are sections addressing the display of cannabis and cannabis accessories, as well as touch jars and smell jars.
If, as a retailer, you decide to display or store cannabis products in the retail sales area, then it must be stored in a lockable product case, and any time an employee isn’t actively taking something out of the case it has to be locked. If not stored in the retail area, it still has to be stored in a locked room or cabinet.
The important thing is that customers can’t just serve themselves to your products. This includes dispensing devices, as well, like vending machines, and covers cannabis, cannabis accessories, or objects that are designed to look like cannabis or cannabis accessories.
Smell and touch jars are new additions to the Handbook, allowing customers to better investigate the product they are purchasing before they do so.
When it comes to touch jars, they have to be kept behind the counter, and not accessible without assistance from a Budtender, but it allows customers to hold a bud in their hands and really see what they are getting.
Olfactory shoppers will appreciate smell jars, which allows customers to not only browse on their own if they want since smell jars are accessible to patrons without assistance but also gives them a chance to get a nose full of terpenes and flavonoids before they buy. The only stipulations are that the jars have to be tethered to the display.
Once the sample buds lose their smell or dry out, they can be disposed of the same way as any other cannabis, and an open container of cannabis used to replenish the sensory stations must be stored and noted in the POS system, just like any other bud that comes through the shop.
Rules for Delivery
In the weeks leading up to July 15, retailers in British Columbia were scrambling to put together an efficient and effective delivery service for their stores.
Any online system that a retailer used had to be mostly operated by them, rather than third-party and had to have an age-restriction feature, restricting visitors to those who were 19+. The delivery itself could occur any time between 9 am and 11 pm and must be done by a delivery employee of that specific retailer, not a third-party delivery service. The driver has to carry a copy of the retailer’s license for identification, and the delivery must be made to an adult, at the address provided at the point of sale. One further amendment says that gift cards can now be used for delivery fees, as well as merchandise.