You’ll be paying a $10 shipping fee to buy legal cannabis online in B.C.

Business In Vancouver

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The B.C. government revealed that when Canada legalizes cannabis on October 17, online orders for cannabis will carry a $10 shipping fee. That is double the shipping fee that Ontario is charging.

bc cannabis store kamloops
The new BC Cannabis Store in Kamloops (Photo by Bob Kronbauer)

Both governments contracted Shopify to operate their e-commerce websites (www.BCCannabisStores.com and www.ocs.ca) and both governments plan to have Canada Post deliver the products.

“We’re confident that the system will work on Wednesday,” Solicitor General Mike Farnworth stressed during an October 15 news conference.

Deliveries, however, could soon be disrupted given that the Canadian Union of Postal Workers said on October 16 that it has given strike notice to Canada Post and that workers could walk off the job as early as October 22.

Farnworth downplayed the action when he spoke to media October 16.

“This is just a notice that has been served,” he said. “We have seen this numerous times in previous negotiations and negotiations usually do end up with a contract in place. So the liquor control and cannabis branch (officially the Liquor & Cannabis Regulation Branch) is reaching out to Canada Post to get a better understanding of what is involved and what they mean by and what they are looking at in terms of rotating strikes.”

British Columbians 19 years of age and older will be able to buy regulated cannabis regardless of where they live in the province. People in other provinces will not be able to use the B.C. store.

Canada Post employees will check identification to ensure that recipients are of legal age, particularly if recipients appear to be under 25 years old.

If a recipient is underaged, the product will be returned to the British Columbia Liquor Distribution Branch (BCLDB) and the full purchase price and associated taxes will be refunded.

Online orders will be shipped from the BCLDB’s distribution centre within 48 business hours of the order being placed, according to the B.C. government.

The first BC Cannabis Store, in Kamloops, is set to open at 10 a.m. October 17. The store, located in the Columbia Place Shopping Centre, is expected to have 24 cannabis consultants to serve customers, the government said.

The store will feature about 85 dried-flower strains of cannabis plus a selection of oils, capsules and pre-rolls approved by Health Canada, the government said.

No private retail stores are yet open despite, government data showing that entrepreneurs have paid 173 application fees for retail licences across B.C. Of the 111 paid applications that government workers deemed to be complete, only 62 have been forwarded to local governments or First Nations to approve.

None of those applicants have received conditional approval, much less had a licence issued.

Private cannabis retailers must proceed through the Liquor & Cannabis Regulation Branch’s regulatory and permit process.

Private and public retailers will be allowed to sell dried cannabis, cannabis oils, capsules and seeds that comply with federal requirements. These stores may also sell cannabis accessories, as defined in the federal Cannabis Act, such as rolling papers, pipes and bongs.