BC Cannabis Stores breaks the rules with Pineapple Express

Published on February 23, 2022 by David Wylie

Photo: Pineapple Express

BC Cannabis Stores made a surprise announcement this week.

Starting March 1, the government cannabis retailer will offer delivery across large parts of Metro Vancouver through Pineapple Express—a third-party service.

Perhaps nobody was more surprised than private retailers. They quickly pointed out that BC cannabis retail policy forbids third-party delivery. Currently, stores can only use their own employees to make deliveries, a policy that came into effect last year in BC.

However, it’s expected the province will announce in the coming days that all private retailers will be able to follow suit and use other delivery services.

The BC Liquor Distribution Branch acknowledged a request for comment from the oz. on Wednesday but has not yet responded.

The Association of Canadian Cannabis Retailers (ACCRES), a cannabis industry advocacy group, said private cannabis retailers should have access to the same services, programs, and tools afforded the BC Cannabis Stores.

“The option to use a third-party delivery service shouldn’t be monopolized by a public corporation. We are disappointed to see the province advantaging a Crown corporation that directly competes with small businesses across the province,” said the association in a statement to the oz.

Further raising hackles among private retailers is that the BC government chose Pineapple Express as its delivery service. The company was acquired earlier this year by large national corporate cannabis retailer Fire & Flower.

Pineapple Express announced Thursday it was chosen after a competitive request-for-proposals process.

The cannabis delivery service completes 40,000 deliveries per month.

“The scale of Pineapple Express is unmatched across Canada and through efficiencies of this magnitude, we are able to offer delivery services at an extremely cost effective and rapid manner,” says Pineapple Express president Randy Rolph.

Municipalities eligible for same-day delivery include parts of Burnaby, Coquitlam, Delta, Langley, Maple Ridge, New Westminster, North Vancouver, Pitt Meadows, Port Moody, Richmond, Surrey, White Rock, and many parts of Vancouver and West Vancouver.

Next-day delivery is available in many other Metro Vancouver areas.

Delivery is $6, same as shipping through Canada Post.

Updated Feb. 24 with comment from Pineapple Express.