Delivering cannabis to an unknown address, or involved in a free giveaway online? It’s a drug deal.
The special provincial constable for alcohol and cannabis for the Peace region says the delivery of cannabis is against the law – and anyone doing it may be charged under the Criminal Code.
“No cannabis can be delivered by anyone – it is that simple,” says Lorie Barrette, cannabis inspector and special provincial constable. Barrette notes just as minors are not allowed into BC cannabis stores, all stores must ensure legal age verification takes place before consumption of their product. If stores know their product is being delivered or dropped off anonymous persons, or to unknown addresses - age verification isn’t happening.
Barrette notes a concern if people think COVID-19 allows the public and/or legal dealers to part in cannabis gifting or delivering of the products on social media.
“You must be 19 years or older to purchase, and it is illegal to purchase cannabis for minors. Since stores cannot guarantee who the product is for, they cannot sell to someone or offer to deliver it themselves.”
The Cannabis Act has a pair of criminal offences, with maximum penalties of 14 years in jail for giving or selling cannabis to minors, or using a minor to commit a cannabis-related offence.
Barrette says it’s key to purchase cannabis from a legal source such as a licensed store, a BC Cannabis Store, the online BC Cannabis Stores website, or through the federal medical cannabis system.
“If you are delivering cannabis for free to any address (whether you know them or not), you are dealing drugs.”
Barrette notes cannabis products from licensed producers are regulated to ensure they are fit for human consumption including mandatory testing. Stores allowing their product to be delivered are running risks – from having their products paired with illegal products, to having the product delivered to a home with minors answers the door.
“If people are delivering, that is an issue," Barrette says adding restaurants are allowed to deliver liquor or allow take-out of it with food service since late March after COVID-19 hit.