The GTA location of the giant distribution centre that will feed the province all of its legal pot products come Wednesday is being kept a dark secret.
While details of the centre’s size and address are being withheld for security reasons, its Ontario Cannabis Store owner has revealed several key aspects of it’s new online service — which will be the sole source of legal pot in the province as of 12:01 a.m. Oct. 17.
During a briefing introducing the ocs.ca website to reporters Thursday, store officials said delivery fees on its cannabis orders would be a flat $5 anywhere in the province.
Those deliveries, conducted by Canada Post personnel, would be made between one to three days from the time of ordering, officials said.
And though you’ll be asked to state you’re a legal 19-years-old several times on the site while ordering, it will be those Canada Post carriers who will ultimately determine if you’re of age to receive pot packages on your doorstep.
Anyone who can prove they are 19 or older can sign for a package at any address the order indicates — including work places. But as with alcohol or medical marijuana deliveries, ID will be demanded from anyone who looks 25 or younger.
Postal carriers will not be allowed to drop off the plainly-packages good — which could include cannabis flowers, pre-rolled joints, oils and oil capsules to begin with — with condo concierges or apartment doormen.
And when no one is home to receive packages, a slip will be left guiding purchasers to their closest post office for pickup.
(Cannabis seeds — which site goers can use to grow their four plants per-household limit — will be on sale in the near future, officials said.)
The site’s search function — designed by online retail giant Shopify — will select products largely on levels of the active cannabis components, the intoxicating tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and the medicinal cannabidiol (CBD) that buyers desire.
Those levels can be plotted on a sliding scroll function, which will guide purchasers to appropriate products from the 32 licensed producers the OCS has so far selected to supply the online store.
There will also be a slew of cannabis accoutrements on sale including pipes, rolling papers, vaporizers and grinders.
Pot buyers will be able to use VISA or Mastercard to order on the 17th, but the OCS is in negotiations with other payment platforms as well.
The OCS has yet to determine prices, but they will be set to be competitive with those on the illicit market and will include all taxes.
Buyers can purchase a limit of 30 grams of product at a time and the site will keep track of amounts as you add orders to your cart.
Nothing, however, will stop a buyer from making several orders a day, beyond a federal regulation that limits personal possession to 30 grams.
The shopping site will also include an educational element that can tell users about such things as active cannabis components and the way they can interact with the body.
This educational material is already available on the store’s ocslearn.ca site.
Matei Olaru, CEO of the Toronto-based Lift & Co., which offers an online guide Canadian cannabis buyers can access, said Shopify and the OCS have integrated some useful tools on their site, such as the THC and CBD sliding scale filter.
“But it’s clear the OCS is still limited in how they can communicate specifically about products and their effects,” Olaru said. “In the absence of that kind of online resource or brick-and-mortar stores, ‘Trip Adviser’ resources like Lift & Co. will continue to fill the information gap between producers and consumers.”
Joseph Hall is a Toronto-based reporter covering cannabis. Reach him on email: firstname.lastname@example.org