LCBO chooses Shopify to run online cannabis sales; more pot retail news expected

The Ontario government has inked a deal to use Shopify Inc.’s e-commerce platform for cannabis sales online and in stores as part of its plan to be the province’s sole distributor of legal recreational marijuana.

The Ontario Cannabis Retail Corporation (OCRC), a subsidiary of the Liquor Control Board of Ontario, will use the Ottawa-based company’s online store software for its online and mobile sales portal.

“Our top priority is fulfilling the province’s framework for the safe and sensible retailing of recreational cannabis for when it is legalized by the federal government,” said George Soleas, president and CEO of the LCBO.

“We look forward to combining our expertise as a socially responsible retailer with Shopify’s world-class commerce solutions to deliver the safe, informed and reliable shopping experience that our new customers will expect.”

Shopify’s technology will also be used inside brick-and-mortar stores to process transactions on iPads and for digital screens displaying product and health information.

The OCRC said Ontarians will have access to the same product information, use guidelines and social responsibility information —that adhere to federal marketing provisions — both in-store and online.

The public consultation for Health Canada’s proposed guidelines for cannabis regulation — which include limits on branding elements on packaging, as well as restrictions on marketing similar to tobacco — finished on Jan. 20, with a finalized version yet to be delivered.

The agency selected the tech darling to provide point-of-sale systems for in-store and online sales in late 2017.

“Bringing this differentiator to the LCBO on this historic project to consumers of legal age across Ontario, is a great example of a made-in-Canada innovation, which we are proud to be a part of,” said Loren Padelford, vice-president of Shopify Plus, the division that focuses on big clients.

The OCRC is in the process of determining the design for the user experience, with the aim of having operations installed in time for the proposed federal marijuana legalization launch in July 2018, the agency said.

In addition to online sales, Ontario will roll out an initial wave of 40 stores which are expected to grow in number to 150 by the end of 2020

The government agency will also use Shopify’s platform to manage inventory, accounting and human resources operations.

Sales of the drug in Ontario will only be available through government-run online or in standalone stores,, while some other provinces such as Alberta and British Columbia are allowing for some private sales of cannabis.

Just Posted

Biathlon women sweep the podium for second time

Biathlon women took top four spots in Thursday’s 10-km race

Red Deer firefighter is recovering, thanks community for support

Firefighters who help together, stick together. Red Deer firefighter medic Ben Barthel… Continue reading

Petroleum producers speak to Red Deer & District Chamber of Commerce

Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers brings recommendations

Science fair is around the corner

Central Alberta Rotary Science Fair happens March 29 and 30.

Ponoka host to Bayer Crop Science seed innovations trade show

The company held a trade show with seed crop science industry partners at the ag event centre

Gaudreau snaps goal drought to help Flames double up Islanders 4-2

CALGARY — The drought is over for Johnny Gaudreau. Gaudreau’s first goal… Continue reading

Federal government set to develop code of conduct for sport in Canada

OTTAWA — The federal government is developing a code of conduct for… Continue reading

Jay Baruchel has trained the dragon, now he’s letting go with ‘The Hidden World’

TORONTO — The first time actor Jay Baruchel stepped into a recording… Continue reading

Hockey ref says AC/DC support is giving him motivation in Alzheimer’s fundraiser

Enthusiastic AC/DC fan Steve McNeil says he’s feeling inspired to push even… Continue reading

Gardening: What are you planting in 2019?

What’s new in plants for 2019? Checking catalogues, greenhouses and stores will… Continue reading

Opinion: I spy another energy hypocrite

Talk about biting the hand that feeds you. The mittens provided to… Continue reading

Canada’s bobsleigh team races World Cup on Calgary home track facing closure

CALGARY — Canada’s skeleton and bobsled teams will race a World Cup… Continue reading

Most Read