VICTORIA -- Cannabis retailers in British Columbia can start delivering recreational cannabis products to their customers beginning next month.

The B.C. government announced Thursday that all licensed non-medical cannabis sellers will be permitted to deliver their products starting July 15.

The Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General says it’s another reason for cannabis consumers to “go legal” when buying cannabis in B.C.

“Since the federal legalization of non-medical cannabis, we’ve been working to support a strong and diverse cannabis industry, shrink the illicit market and keep products out of the hands of children and youth,” said Mike Farnworth, Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General, in a statement Thursday.

“Allowing direct delivery to consumers isn’t just an advantage retailers have told us is vital to the viability of their sector, it’s also a way we can further our public safety goals,” Farnworth added.

The announcement follows the government’s decision last August to allow cannabis retailers to sell their products online.

Only adults will be allowed to receive cannabis delivery orders, and anyone who appears to be under 19 years old will have to present two pieces of identification, the province says.

The customer will not have to be a resident at the address or the person who placed the order. However, they will have to provide their name and signature to take delivery.

SECURITY VERIFICATION ELIMNATED FOR CANNABIS WORKERS

The province says it is also removing security verification requirements for cannabis workers to help eliminate delays in hiring. The province says the change will allow cannabis retailers to hire staff more quickly to implement delivery and will reduce costs for industry and government.

“Government has consulted, listened and really delivered,” said Jaclynn Pehota, executive director of the Association of Canadian Cannabis Retailers, in the statement Thursday.

“Knowing retailers can start hiring without delay and be ready to better meet customers’ needs when delivery becomes an option is incredibly welcome news,” Pehota said.

“Adding convenient home delivery to the mix of knowledgeable staff and regulated product can only serve to make the legal cannabis sector the source of choice for more people,” she added.

Since 2018, the B.C. government has completed security screening on more than 7,000 prospective cannabis workers and has not identified any significant risk of links to organized crime, according to the province.

Prospective retailers will remain subject to security screening when applying for a licence, according to the ministry.