The British Columbia Liquor Distribution Branch (BC LDB) has announced its plans for online cannabis distribution. BC LCB will use Shopify as its e-commerce platform for non-medical cannabis. With legalization slated for October 17, the BC LDB expects sales to begin in early fall.
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“Shopify was chosen for its proven record of on-time execution, user-friendly design and long-term approach to anticipating consumer needs beyond the implementation phase,” BC LDB’s general manager and CEO Blain Lawson said in a press release. “Every decision we make, as we introduce cannabis to our business, is underpinned by the social responsibility we have to our communities, to prevent minors from accessing cannabis, to reduce the criminal element, and to prioritize the health and safety of our customers.”
Shopify will create two separate websites to fulfill online orders for consumers and private retail stores. The platform will also enable age verification, support BC LDB’s warehouse management and other systems, and facilitate a customer care centre.
Additional age verification of online orders will be performed by the courier service at the time of delivery to valid BC address, with consideration being given to at-store pick up as an option.
LDB has also secured a 70,000 sq. ft. facility in Richmond to accommodate the wholesale supply of non-medical cannabis. The location will include a dedicated customer care call-in centre that caters to private retail store operators, BC Cannabis Stores, and the provincial online store.
About 130 jobs are expected to be created at the distribution centre, including logistics, shipping and receiving, customer-care, and maintenance.
Licensed producers will be responsible for quality testing and pre-packaging their products, before shipping them directly to the BC LDB’s distribution centre.
The BC LDB will be the sole wholesale distributor and the public retailer of non-medical cannabis in BC.