Cannabis is now being pedaled in Vancouver.
But don’t expect to see cyclists wearing brightly colored green uniforms or backpacks to identify themselves. Because of security concerns, the cyclists who deliver cannabis for Spruce Delivery on bicycles deliberately don’t stand out.
If you order from Spruce Delivery, you’ll get someone who resembles a regular bike courier.
Spruce started delivering pot to people two and a half weeks ago, said Frank Le, one of four owners of the new company.
Spruce promises fast service within its delivery area that includes downtown Vancouver, north to the waterfront, south to Broadway, and east to Victoria Drive.
“We promise 20 minutes or less or you get a free joint,” Le said by phone.
“We’re a bike-powered delivery service that runs under 20 minutes which is faster than you can get your pizza.”
According to B.C. Registry Services records, Spruce Delivery Ltd incorporated on June 27, 2017. Its office is listed in Langley, with directors on Denman Island and Vancouver.
The Vancouver Police Department describes what Spruce Delivery is doing as “trafficking.”
“As it stands now, this is trafficking in a controlled substance (cannabis) contrary to the (Controlled Drugs and Substances Act),” Sgt. Jason Robillard, Vancouver Police Department media relations officer, said by email.
“When the Cannabis Act is passed (as it currently reads), this behavior would be an offence under the Cannabis Act. But until the Cannabis Act comes into effect we won’t know for sure.”
Delivering cannabis by bicycle also “does not appear” to follow the guidelines for Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations, he said.
The federal Cannabis Act, which legalizes and regulates cannabis, is expected to pass its final legislative hurdle in June which means legal pot probably won’t be available until August.
Le said Spruce Delivery has spent the last year developing its business model. He said the company already has a license to start delivering cannabis by bicycle in Portland.
Spruce is advertising on cargo delivery bicycles and uses the marketing tag line: “Weed delivery. Simplified.” Its website is sprucedelivery.com.
The advertising on cargo bicycles comes with a disclaimer that says: “Sorry, no marijuana onboard.”
Le said while Spruce has a Vancouver location, he didn’t want to identify it for security reasons.
“We’re looking to celebrate excellence and create something special for Vancouver which has been the centre of the cannabis business in Canada,” Le said.
Spruce delivers from 2 pm to 10 pm, Tuesday to Sunday. Its menu items are only available to view online during opening hours. He said that’s to ensure that people don’t see Spruce’s products online, try to order outside of opening hours, and become frustrated when they’re not delivered.
“We’ll be expanding hours and regions throughout the summer,” he said. “We’re new and trying different things.”
Spruce accepts cash and debit card. Minimum order is $20; maximum $200. For $40 you can get six grams of Tuna Kush Special.
“We have a very rigorous testing process,” he said.
“We go through 60 samples a week and choose two. We have a humidity controlled environment and it’s all tested at High North Labs.”
Spruce requires physical identification with every delivery. Its website says that “All patients must be above the age of 19 and qualify for medical marijuana delivery.”
He admits Spruce does not fit with the proposed federal government law to legalize selling cannabis.
“We’re going against what the government is proposing to do,” he said.
“They’re having everything run at brick and mortar shops in designated locations by operators who have won a lottery — essentially. We don’t think it is fair or the best way to approach it. We think we’re going above and beyond with the value and service we’re providing.”