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But the temporary emergency order was lifted in July, despite protests from many brick-and-mortar stores, who argued the services allowed them to compete on the black market.
The Friendly Stranger, located at 1135 Richmond Street, was the only pottery store in London to offer both curbside delivery and pickup.
Company president James Jesty said the government wanted to maintain a monopoly on the delivery of jars in Ontario.
“I think we should be able to make the delivery,” said Jesty, whose company has entered into a partnership agreement to open the store near the gates of Western University. “We are still in COVID, we are always asked to stay at home.”
Money was spent on hiring drivers and renting vehicles to set up Friendly Stranger’s delivery service, which was free on orders over $ 50, he said. “When they took him away from us, it really didn’t make much sense.”
David Clement, director of North American affairs for the Consumer Choice Center, said just letting OCS deliver jarred products hurts consumers by leaving them no other option.
“COVID-19 has really mobilized people to support local businesses,” said Clement, whose center lobbied provinces to allow retailers to offer same-day delivery. “This same concept would apply to the retail sale of cannabis.”
OCS offers same day delivery to over a dozen cities, primarily in the Greater Toronto Area.
Last month, the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO), the province’s marijuana regulator, pledged to increase the pace of jar store approvals from 20 to 40 per months, starting this fall.
In London, where seven marijuana retailers currently operate, another 15 are in the final approval stage.