Canadian COVID Response Interrupts Cannabis Shipments

Canada’s response to the COVID-19 coronavirus has shut down the direct delivery of cannabis products in the mail due to changes that promote social distancing for postal workers.

Full story after the jump.

While Canadians can still order cannabis through the mail amid the coronavirus outbreak, Canada Post will no longer deliver mail that requires signatures – such as age-restricted packages – to the recipient’s door, the agency said on Monday. Under the changes, such packages will be dropped off at a nearby post office and a notice will be left at the residence, according to a Leafly report.

Cannabis retailers Canopy Growth and Superette announced earlier this week that they would close all of their physical retail locations. Canopy indicated they would still sell products online.

Delivery company Puralator will still bring age-restricted packages to homes and residents will have to show their ID and verbally accept the package in lieu of a signature. Medical Cannabis by Shoppers, the Shoppers Drug Mart-owned company, also said they would no longer require signatures for medical cannabis but would still deliver to the door.

Canada’s response to the coronavirus outbreak also includes business loans, but according to a Yahoo Finance report, cannabis companies are not eligible for the financial relief.

In an interview with Yahoo, Dan Sutton, CEO of cannabis company Tantalus Labs, said that a senior account manager with the Business Development Bank of Canada that the firm doesn’t “do business” with cannabis companies.

George Smitherman, president and CEO of the Cannabis Council of Canada, told Yahoo that “fits with what the industry has been told to date.”

“We are forced to remind people that more than 300 Health Canada licences are all new businesses in a fledgling, complicated sector, and that like other Canadian businesses, we badly need support from governments due to the added tumult onset by COVID-19. We will be seeking to mobilize the cannabis sector to speak up about this unfair situation by calling their MPs. It’s a good chance to remind policy makers of the $8 billion contribution we have made to GDP so far, and the thousands of employees our member companies employ.” – Smitherman in an email interview via Yahoo Finance

BDC spokesperson Jean Philippe Nadeau told Yahoo that BDC and Export Development Canada planned to increase the amount of available financing as the situation develops, adding that the impact of the disease “will vary by sector.”

“We are evaluating the situation as it evolves, including the needs of entrepreneurs, Canadian export companies and the impact on specific industries,” he wrote in an email to Yahoo. “We are working on the details on how the program will work and will share an update in the coming days.”

Ontario Cannabis Store Communications Director Daffyd Roderick told Yahoo that on Saturday the provincial retailer saw nearly 3,000 orders, which is an 80 percent increase “over an average Saturday,” and last Sunday saw more than 4,000 orders, which represents a 100 percent increase from the previous week.

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