ParcelPal Technology inks cannabis delivery deal with Shopify Canada, but what does it mean for American investors?
ParcelPal Technology Inc. (CSE:PKG) (OTC:PTNYF), an online delivery service, is partnering with Shopify to improve the way people shop for cannabis online. ParcelPal will be integrating their delivery app with Shopify’s platform over the coming weeks. When it launches, Canadian LPs already on Shopify will be able to use the new app to deliver both medical and recreational cannabis across the territories.
ParcelPal currently specializes in restaurant, retail, and dispensary deliveries in Vancouver, Calgary, and Saskatoon, but with this new agreement, the app will be launching in major cities nationwide. They already have delivery agreements with Choom and Kiaro dispensaries. With Shopify processing orders for Canada’s government-run websites as of now, this partnership will only streamline the country’s access to cannabis.
As for American consumers, no such agreement exists. The delivery app will only be available for Canadian consumers. ParcelPal did enter the American marketplace late last year via Amazon, acting as a delivery service for the website. The Amazon partnership is only active in one city so fa —Everett, Washington—but the intention is to expand across the United States, with sights set on Seattle, Tacoma, and Redmond. However, the agreement with Amazon does not include any cannabis clauses, and there are no agreements between ParcelPal and any American dispensaries as of yet.
Cannabis delivery in the United States vs Canada
Cannabis delivery in the United States is fragmented at best. Each legalized state has their own laws regarding how and when deliveries are made and who is legally allowed to make such deliveries. For example, weed deliveries in California can only happen between 10am and 10pm. In Washington, delivery employees must have an armed security guard license. With different rules in place in each state, it can be difficult for delivery services to set up successful routes.
In Canada, cannabis is delivered through the Canada Post, the country’s main postal service. Canadian consumers can have their cannabis delivered directly to their door and can even ship up to thirty grams of cannabis to family and friends within Canada as long as packaging and labels are compliant and the receiver is of legal age. The use of apps like ParcelPal and other delivery services simply work to streamline this service in order to give consumers same-day delivery.
There are multiple services and applications that do manage to make deliveries for American customers. The aptly named SpeedWeed connects consumers with their local dispensaries, while others like Eaze and WeedMaps allow users to place orders and delivery requests through the app. Unfortunately, the American cannabis user might find it increasingly difficult to place their delivery orders through the convenience of an app. Last month, Google announced that they would be removing marijuana delivery apps from their PlayStore if the apps do not adhere to the tech giant’s new family-friendly rules. The delivery apps can stay online as long as they do not “facilitate the sale” of cannabis.
New rules will mean that delivery apps on this side of the northern border will have to keep evolving in order to keep up with the illegal landscape of American cannabis. Sometimes, that evolution does not always work out. Eaze, a popular cannabis delivery service in California, is being sued by Herban Industries for gaining “an unfair competitive advantage in the California cannabis delivery market”. The accusation claims that Eaze has been disguising cannabis credit card transactions made through the app as transactions for dog toys, face creams, and other random products. But while the San Francisco County Superior Court is waiting to hear the case, Eaze is still making deliveries in California.
What does this mean for cannabis investors?
For cannabis investors in Canada, the delivery market is looking very lush. Anyone looking to diversify their cannabis portfolios would be wise to keep an eye on ParcelPal and others in the delivery industry. American investors should not hesitate on ParcelPal, either. While the United States is still ironing out the kinks in its state-by-state delivery services, the cannabis market as a whole will be looking for a delivery system that works in preparation for federal legalization. ParcelPal is already integrating themselves into the Pacific Northwest market with their Amazon agreement. They are strategically placed to take up the delivery mantle when and if that nationwide legal market opens up. Investors that act now could come out on top. It is just a matter of playing the waiting game.