It was an experience I have had many times before, since long before cannabis was officially legalized in Canada.
Tap my phone a dozen or so times, then sit back and wait for some weed to arrive at my home later that day. As a Toronto resident, however, Monday marked the first time I was able to experience that process legally via the newly launched Ontario Cannabis Store (OCS) same-day/next-day delivery pilot.
Pineapple Express Delivery, a private company that already offers similar services in Manitoba and Saskatchewan, will handle the expedited shipping, OCS spokesperson Daffyd Roderick confirmed, with Canada Post continuing to deliver standard orders. The provincially-owned OCS has been working on ways of offering faster shipping options since early 2019, and the pilot program will initially be available only to OCS customers with 'M' at the beginning of their postal code (insert a ‘marijuana’ joke there if you want, but that feels pretty lazy).
The program will eventually be expanded to the rest of the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), Mr. Roderick said, though no timeline has been established.
With live tracking not unlike most modern food delivery apps and a guaranteed delivery window (6:30-10pm ET) and promises of regular updates via text, the experience was definitely better than the old days; prohibition-era stories of dealers texting they were ’20mins away’ only to show up four hours later - or sometimes not at all - are all-too-common.
Yet for $12.17 +HST ($13.75 total), I had to pay more than double what it costs for standard Canada Post delivery ($5.65), which takes one to three business days. Also, worth noting this is the sort of service that has long been available, albeit illegally, entirely for free.
Granted, same-day or next-day delivery is surely worth more than nothing in the legal cannabis market. But $13.75 - or $12 for next-day - seems a steep price to pay for punctuality.