Canada has been working on creating the legal framework for controlling the possession, production, sale and distribution of cannabis. Retailing will be different in each province. Recently, the local government of Ontario announced a partnership with Shopify for legal weed sales. The e-commerce platform intends to play a part in every sale of recreational marijuana in stores and online within the province.
Ontario Cannabis Retail Corporation Deal
The Ontario Cannabis Retail Corporation is a subsidiary of the board that regulates liquor in Ontario. They struck a deal with Shopify to use their online store software for the online and mobile sales portals in Ontario.
“Our top priority is fulfilling the province’s framework for the safe and sensible retailing of recreational cannabis for when it is legalized by the federal government,” said George Soleas, CEO of the Liquor Control Board of Ontario (LCBO).
“We look forward to combining our expertise as a socially responsible retailer with Shopify’s world-class commerce solutions to deliver the safe, informed and reliable shopping experience that our new customers will expect.”
Shopify’s Technology For Legal Cannabis Sales
The CBC reported that the Ontario government chose a partnership with Shopify for legal weed sales via point-of-sale systems. The company’s technology will be used in online and mobile sales portals.
However, it will also be used to process transactions on iPads in brick-and-mortar stores. The iPads will also be used to provide product information, guidelines and more. Everything that is required by other products under federal marketing provisions will be provided in stores and elsewhere.
“Bringing this differentiator to the LCBO on this historic project to consumers of legal age across Ontario is a great example of a made-in-Canada innovation, which we are proud to be a part of,” said Loren Padelford, vice-president of Shopify Plus, a part of the company that focuses on larger clients.
On top of using Shopify’s technology as a point-of-sale system to manage and track inventory, the Ontario government will use it for accounting and human resource operations.
Recreational cannabis in Ontario will operate differently than recreational cannabis in legal states across the United States like California. In fact, California allows private sales of cannabis by licensed business owners. However, in Ontario, all recreational sales must be performed in government-run stores.
Final Hit: Partnership With Shopify For Legal Weed Sales
The finalized version of proposed guidelines for cannabis regulation in Canada is still in the works. However, the Ontario government’s partnership with Shopify for legal weed sales was inked in late 2017. Shopify will play a role in every legal transaction of recreational cannabis in Ontario.
The province plans to open 40 stores initially on top of online sales. That number is expected to grow to 150 by the end of 2020. Even though Ontario only allows government-run recreational cannabis stores to sell weed, the local governments in other parts of Canada are going with a more hands-off approach when it comes to recreational cannabis.
The Ontario retail market is already being criticized for only allowing a limited number of government-run stores to sell recreational cannabis.