Ontario Allows Cannabis Sales Online, Over Phone

The Government of Ontario is bringing in legislation that will enable cannabis retailers to sell their products online and over the telephone for in-store pickup.

The Ontario government says it is adopting a "click-and-connect" sales model for the cannabis industry in order to help expand access to the now legal drug. Finance Minister Rod Phillips announced the changes during the government's fall economic statement, saying they will decrease waits for cannabis and help combat the illegal black market.

The shift comes as the Progressive Conservative government pledges to lift a cap it imposed on the number of cannabis stores in Canada’s most populous province. The provincial government had initially said there would be no cap on the number of retail cannabis stores after legalization in October 2018. But a supply shortage prompted the government last December to cap the initial number of pot retail licences to just 25 so operators would be able to open.

The number of legal cannabis outlets in Ontario is increasing from 25 to 75 by the end of this year. The government also said Wednesday it will allow licensed producers to have retail stores on each of their production sites to further increase access. The government said Wednesday it will amend legislation and provincial regulations to make the changes but has given no immediate timeline when they will take effect.