The provincial government says they have amended regulations that will allow BC’s licensed private cannabis retailers to take payments online.

In a statement released Tuesday, the Ministry of Attorney General says the change comes in response to concerns around the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on in-store sales and payment options.

Under old regulations customers had to be physically present to provide payment, even for orders reserved online.

The new regulations will allow for payments through websites, mobile apps or by telephone, to encourage physical distancing.

Regardless of payment method, however, in-store pickup will still be required so employees can check IDs.

Online sales options will also need to have an age-verification tool.

The government says they are also considering proposals for delivery but warn that any option would need to maintain strict standards preventing youth access to cannabis.

“This change responds to a request from private retailers as they continue to follow the mandates of the provincial health officer,” said David Eby, Attorney General.

“It supports public health and safety by reducing the amount of time customers need to spend in stores and allows them to remain physically distanced from employees and each other.”

The new regulations will also allow private licensed cannabis retailers to accept gift cards through online systems.