With a Canada Post work stoppage potentially starting as early as this Wednesday, Cannabis Growers of Canada is offering members a way to ship their products securely and for a discounted rate.

Cannabis Growers of Canada director of outreach Jaclynn Pehota said the industry group heard from their members that a shipping service was something that they wanted.

“One of the first thing people said was ‘we want to look at discounted shipping,'” said Pehota, who arranged a new partnership with delivery service Loomis.

“We have negotiated an agreement with Loomis through CGC that offers significant discounts on air and ground shipping,” said Pehota. “It’s a very exciting partnership and it allows for all of our members to have access to shipping even though there’s a postal strike that’s pending.”

The service allows members to reduce the cost of transport by 56 per cent off Loomis’s base rate for ground shipping and 30 per cent off of air shipping.

“It’s nice because it speaks to legitimacy in the industry,” said Pehota.

Pehota said members have individual accounts through the CGC and the freedom to manage their own shipments.

“It’s a great step in the right direction for our members we’re offering more benefits,” she said, and is currently looking at other opportunities for CGC members, like discounts at garden supply retailers for cannabis growers.

“We’re looking at point of sale systems — credit and debit — and we’re very close to closing on that,” she said.

Many operations in the cannabis industry work on a cash-only system, as banking networks have refused to deal with them.

“In the past, people have been jury-rigging their accounts based on ‘well we’re a consulting company or a numbered company, please don’t ask what we do’ and then, when they find out what the actual business and industry is, they end up getting yanked,” said Pehota. “So what we’re doing is we’re working with a company so that all the processing is all above board.”

Pehota said the processing operations are well aware that the CGC businesses are in the cannabis industry and so members will eventually have the services of any other retail businesses without the risk of the point of sale systems being revoked.

“One of the processors has a major Canadian bank that’s wiling to do transactions and the other one is looking at banks that are outside of Canada,” said Pehota. “We haven’t signed anything yet, we’re waiting for all the proposals to come in before we make a decision.”

Pehota said those interested in learning more can contact the Cannabis Growers of Canada to inquire about membership.