Ontario Cannabis Store seeking courier for same-day pot delivery services
A worker applies a shipping label to a package of cannabis products at the Ontario Cannabis Store distribution centre in an undated handout photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Ontario Cannabis Store
Armina Ligaya, The Canadian Press
Published Thursday, January 24, 2019 11:37AM EST
The Ontario Cannabis Retail Corporation is seeking a courier to make same-day pot deliveries, starting with the Greater Toronto Area.
The provincial corporation tasked with the online sales and distribution of recreational weed has posted a tender calling for "expedited same-day delivery."
"As OCRC's marketplace evolves, the ability for the organization to provide a variety of delivery options to meet customers' expectations is imperative to the growth of its e-commerce business," it said in the tender published on Jan. 18. "Accordingly, the OCRC is looking to add expedited same-day home delivery service."
The corporation's efforts to ramp up its service offerings comes more than three months after adult-use pot was legalized in Canada on Oct. 17. The OCRC's e-commerce portal, the Ontario Cannabis Store, has seen high demand as purchasing online for home delivery is currently the only legal route to buy recreational pot in the province.
During the first few weeks of legalization, consumers who ordered their pot from the OCS faced lengthy delivery delays. The Office of the Ontario Ombudsman said in October that it had received more than 1,000 complaints against the OCS involving delivery delays, billing problems and poor customer service.
These delivery delays were coupled with a pot supply crunch impacting government-run and private retailers across the country as well.
Private bricks-and-mortar cannabis retail outlets are set to open in the province in April, but the Ontario government has said the initial number will be limited to 25, citing the lingering pot supply shortage as a factor.
The OCRC in its call for bids posted on Jan. 19 says the project term is estimated to start on or about March 1. It added that the pilot project will end on Dec. 31 of this year, with opportunities to extend.
The OCS would not confirm the March 1 start date but a spokeswoman said the organization "looks forward to announcing a timeline and service territory for launch of same-day service as soon as an agreement is finalized and the service offering has been clearly defined."
The corporation adds that the initial rollout of this service will be focused on the Greater Toronto Area, with potential in the future to scale to other regions of Ontario.
"Customers have told us from very early on that they would like to have the option for same-day or expedited delivery service," said OCS spokeswoman Amanda Winton in an e-mail. "OCS is undertaking a competitive bidding process to find the best option(s) that works for the greatest number of a customers across the widest geography at the best price."
Interested companies have until Feb. 4 to submit a bid for the contract, which has an estimated value of $450,000, according to the tender.