But cannabis stores arenâ€™t causing more infections, retailers say, and shouldnâ€™t be used as a political prop to drive vaccinations.
TheÂ COVIDÂ pandemic has highlighted peopleâ€™s spending habits, and some businesses have done better than others.
â€œWe have a temporary responsibility, which is a labor of love. Itâ€™s definitely a charity that weâ€™re doing. Deliveries donâ€™t really make us money â€” it just helps us serve the community better,â€ she says, explaining there are the added costs of bringing on drivers and using a delivery app service.
McLean would like the province to provide clarity about how long stores will be allowed to offer delivery and curbside pickup as part of the phased reopening of the economy.
“I’m sure next January will be better in gross sales and profitability,” she said in an interview. “I really think that the lockdown took a big chunk and having to pivot [to delivery] was really what depressed sales.”
The small packages have been â€œdesperately lacking on our (wholesalersâ€™) buy (sheet) every week,â€ said McLean, founder and CEO of Calyx + Trichomes, a licensed cannabis store in Kingston, Ontario.
Cannabis delivery and curbside pickup are a labour of love, a public service and quite frankly the only responsible approach to help flatten the curve. Let us do our part.
The action comes despite what a leading industry lawyer says could be a regulatory misinterpretation by the provinceâ€™s cannabis store regulator, the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO).
This is after recreational pot shops were originally declared essential businesses by the Canadian government on March 24th and would be permitted to remain open.
â€œThe fact is, weâ€™ve gotten over the hard part now because we have our license. Nothing lasts forever, so as soon as weâ€™re able to, weâ€™ll be out selling cannabis, even if itâ€™s in a modified way like only curbside (pickup) or only click-and-collect.