The Canadian government will be cracking down on minors’ ability to access cannabis through home deliveries once nationwide legalization rolls out next summer.
Bill Blair, the parliamentary secretary to the minister of justice and the Liberal government’s legalization point man, told CBC News that a series of strict safeguards will be placed on online cannabis orders once that service becomes available.
"If we're going to use a mail delivery system, we have to make sure that that works, to make sure that this is not accessible to people underage," said Blair.
While the federal government has left matters of sale and distribution to the provinces, officials are open to the idea of having online sales from licensed cannabis producers "with secure home delivery through the mail or by courier."
Those provinces that have revealed details of their respective cannabis frameworks are divided in their opinions about online services. For its part, Alberta officials said they will not allow online sales at the beginning due to concerns that cannabis could be delivered to minors.
"There may not be online sales or home delivery of cannabis initially, but it's not completely off the table," Veronica Jubinville, spokesperson for Alberta's justice minister, told CBC News.
"Online retail will be considered as part of our next steps once we understand more about the market and are confident we can ensure age verification."
In Ontario, however, it’s anticipated that online sales – with a series of precautionary measures including ID checks and signatures required upon delivery – will be permitted as soon as cannabis is legal.
Blair notes that while provinces are certainly free to establish their own secure delivery systems once the feds launch recreational legalization next July, there has actually been a cannabis delivery service in place for medical marijuana since 2013.
"It's delivered by Canada Post, and there is an age verification — an identity verification — that takes place at the point of delivery at the door," Blair said.
h/t CBC News