Shopify signs with LCBO to sell recreational cannabis online in Ontario

The Liquor Control Board of Ontario has announced that they’ve reached a deal with an online eCommerce platform Shopify, in order to offer online sales of recreational cannabis.

This is the first announcement of its kind, seeing how no other province in Canada has yet announced the platform through which the online sales will be conducted.

Shopify, one of the biggest IT companies in Canada, has been chosen to be the platform which will provide Ontarians access to recreational cannabis online, once it get legalized this summer.

“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, CEO of the LCBO.

The government of Ontario announced late last year that there will be 40 stores on the ground for the whole province to supply citizens with recreational marijuana, a number which is supposed to rise up to 150 by the year 2020.

Shopify’s technology will also be used in the brick-and-mortar stores in order to process transactions on iPads, as well as for digital screens displaying the product and health information.

The Ontario Cannabis Retail Corporation (OCRC), a subsidiary of the Liquor Control Board of Ontario, will also use Shopify’s platform to manage inventory, accounting, and human resources operations.

Big tobacco enters the market

In the midst of cannabis legalization, one of the big tobacco players from the US market bought a large share in 2 Canadian cannabis companies, one of which is currently licensed to grow and sell medical cannabis.

The US tobacco firm, Alliance One International Inc. has acquired a 75% share in Island Garden and an 80% share in Ontario-based Goldleaf Pharma, which is a late-stage applicant for the license.

While the terms of the deal were not disclosed, we can safely assume that the numbers were through the roof simply by looking at a very recent and similar acquisition.

Canopy Growth, Canada’s biggest cannabis company, sold a 9.9% stake to Constellation Brands back in October 2017 for $190 million USD. Constellation Brands is a well-known liquor company from the US.

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