Door-to-door pot delivery in Halton Hills?

March 4, 2019, 5:53 AM

Ex-Uber leader creates Eddy Delivery service, wanting to make pot accessible in Halton Hills

If Halton Hills council decides to opt out of having retail cannabis stores in town, a new marijuana delivery service says they are ready to pick up the slack.

“Halton Hills is absolutely not unique,” said Brett Chang, director of public affairs with Leaf Forward, a parent company of Eddy Delivery. 

Eddy Delivery is an on-demand cannabis delivery service that looks to fill that need, especially in municipalities that decide to opt out. Chang said that the province wants to respect the municipalities and allow for them to opt out of cannabis retail, and so does Eddy Delivery. 

However, if they do opt out, he says there needs to be a way to service residents who use cannabis, in order to keep them from using the black market.

“If they don’t,” said Chang, “what will likely happen is they will go to the black market … and undermine one of the main objectives of cannabis legalization in this country.”

By April 2019, the government is set to roll out policies for independent cannabis retail, with a licensing class that is being developed for on-demand cannabis delivery services.

It’s a model that mirrors Uber Eats, an on-demand food delivery service.

The CEO of Eddy Delivery is Ryan Dempsey, a former leader of Uber’s Canadian operations. The company is partnering with Inabuggy, one of Canada’s leading grocery delivery services.

Inabuggy delivers groceries to residents in cities across Canada like Calgary, Vancouver and Toronto.

Chang is also a former Uber employee, from the public affairs team.

“We saw how market places work, how they grow,” said Chang, who is also a former Uber employee, from the public affairs team. He said that the same model could be applied to cannabis delivery.

The company plans to have couriers who are trained, qualified and undergo background checks all of which are likely stipulations in the national policy framework for pot retail.

“You tap a button and you can have product delivered to your door,” said Chang.

For more rural zones within Halton Hills, Eddy Delivery would be planning at least same-day deliveries for users, if not on-demand.

“This is the perfect solution for municipalities who are leaning toward opting out,” said Chang, explaining that his company aims to respect which ever decision is made by the council, while also providing convenient and legal access to cannabis.

"I think you're going to see a lot of these companies coming up," said Halton Hills Mayor Rick Bonnette. He says that the town will look to consult the public on cannabis retail shops before having the newly elected council make a decision in January.

"It's hard to tell," he said, responding to whether a lack of retail shops could lead to more black market sales.

"I think if you buy it online it could be better," he said, pondering. "There's going to be a lot of bumps along the way. This is going to be a game-changer for Canada."

Halton regional police say that they won't be responding to calls about marijuana smells from neighbours, but will respond to calls of more plants being grown personally than the legal limit, complaints about stores selling to minors, cannabis-impaired driving and more.

While Eddy Delivery does not expect to be operating until spring, Halton Hills residents can purchase marijuana from the Ontario Government Cannabis store website, and subsequently shipped by Canada Post. The website will start accepting orders on the legalization date of Oct. 17.

Municipalities have until Jan. 22 to opt out of hosting cannabis retail stores, however municipalities can opt back in later.