British Columbia’s Liquor Distribution Branch (LDB) has announced today it has chosen Ottawa-based Shopify to run its e-commerce platform to sell non-medical cannabis to the public, once the latter is legalized on October 17, 2018, as announced earlier this week by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
Shopify’s winning bid will meet the following requirements for the LDB:
- The creation of two separate websites to fulfill online orders: one for consumers, and another for private retail stores;
- The enabling of age verification on the BC Cannabis Stores’ retail website;
- LDB’s various systems, including its warehouse management system; and
- Supporting a technology- and service-driven customer care centre.
“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,” said Blain Lawson, LDB’s general manager and CEO, in a press release.
To protect minors from accessing non-medical cannabis, couriers will perform age verification during deliveries. Meanwhile, a new 6,500 square metre (70,000 square feet) facility has been secured in Richmond, to be the home of a call-in centre for private retail store operators, plus to accommodate its wholesale cannabis operation.
Shopify is known for their e-commerce platform recently launched a new iOS app to allow sellers to easily manage their stores on the go.
Back in February, the Ontario Cannabis Retail Corporation (OCRC), a subsidiary of the Liquor Control Board of Ontario, similarly selected Shopify to manage their online and mobile sales for non-medical cannabis products. That partnership will also leverage Shopify’s point-of-sale systems for retail, while also utilize iPads inside stores to display product and health information on cannabis products.
The BC LDB says they will consider in-store pickup of online orders “for the future”.