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'Weed' deliver: High Life will send pot right to your doorstep

Delivery prices vary, and available to anyone within 22 kilometres of the store
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High Life has been offering delivery services since June 10. (File)

Just when you thought it couldn’t get easier to be a pot enthusiast in Greater Sudbury, High Life is now offering delivery services.

The owner of one of Sudbury’s first pot shops said delivery services started June 10 and have met with a great deal of success. The store received its first delivery order within minutes of the service being offered.

Eugene Konarev said the service is available to customers within 22 kilometres of the store, located at 1299 Marcus Dr., off The Kingsway in the Silver Hills area. That covers pretty much most of Greater Sudbury, he said.

Konarev said there were some reservations about offering delivery services in Greater Sudbury at the start, most of which dealt with safety of staff and clients during a pandemic. 

However, delivery has become almost the norm in Toronto and Ottawa within the first few weeks of the emergency orders coming into effect.

“The opportunity for delivery came as part of the COVID-19 emergency order from the government,” Konarev said. “But, we weren't set up to offer it, either with personnel or with the system to accept orders online.”

When delivery service first became available at High Life in Sudbury, staff tested several delivery models, with different delivery time windows, including upwards of three hours. The store has since settled on a one-hour window for deliveries.

A person can order for a specific time window that is an hour long, Konarev said, so they can ask for delivery between 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. or 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. Delivery services are available from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.

There are three pricing layers for delivery services. Delivery orders have to be a minimum of $40, and anything under $50 has a $10 delivery fee. Orders between $50 and $100 have a $6 delivery fee, while orders over $100 are free.

“Not surprising, about 95 per cent of our delivery orders are for more than $100," Konarav said. "It makes sense and it's more economical for the customers that way. It works, it works really well, and the customers love it so far.”

Regulations dictate only employees of the store can make the deliveries, and they are being certified to do so, said Konarev.

At the time of purchase, customers have to upload their identification to verify their age, and that same identification must be shown upon delivery.

Moving forward, Konarev said it's tough to predict whether delivery will become a permanent service, as it wasn't part of the original rules and regulations governing pot shops when they were first allowed to open.

“I have a feeling it will stay, because of the amount of time, effort and cost associated with building the online infrastructure to facilitate the delivery service,” Konarev said. “This situation with COVID-19, I think, pushed some decisions, like delivery services, ahead of schedule.”

Pot shops were shut down at the beginning of April for a few days as they were not deemed an essential service. An emergency order was passed several days later to allow for curbside pickup. The storefront opened back up at the beginning of May.

“We are doing everything we can to make sure the environment is safe for customers, such as sneeze guards at the counters, and more than 15 different sanitation stations throughout the store,” Konarev said. 

High Life in Sudbury has about 20 employees.



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