Beginning March 8, 2022, the Alberta Gaming Liquor and Cannabis (AGLC) withdrew from online cannabis sales, allowing licensed cannabis retailers to sell cannabis online and provide delivery.
All licensed cannabis retailers operating a physical store can sell cannabis online if they choose, but they have to receive an endorsement from the AGLC, use an age verification program, and undergo a compliance check. According to the regulator, only about 13% of Alberta’s licensed stores are ready to provide online sales.
During a press conference on March 7th, the AGLC said five companies and 74 retail locations have met their requirements and been endorsed to commence online sales on March 8th. The number has slowly grown over the last week. On March 11th, out of Alberta’s 753 retailers, 96 retail locations are listed as offering online sales on the AGLC’s website.
The process to sell online has been met with mixed reviews by industry. Many independent retailers have questioned the cost and feasibility of selling online and the stringent regulations, like double-enforcing age gating at the time of purchase and delivery – a restriction not seen in other provinces.
The current regulations also ban third-party-type couriers, but rolling out a delivery program can be cost prohibitive for retailers. The AGLC says it is exploring the option for companies like Uber Eats or Skip the Dishes to be allowed to offer cannabis. Third-party delivery companies started offering alcohol in 2020.