Ontario Cannabis Store struggling to keep up

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The Ontario Cannabis Store has come under fire in the last few days over delayed deliveries since recreational cannabis was legalized almost two weeks ago. Ombudsman, a watchdog group overseeing the Ontario Cannabis Store (OCS) says that they have received complaints from customers who have yet to receive their orders. Ombudsman would not say exactly how many complaints have been filed according to the CBC.

“I can confirm that our office does oversee the Ontario Cannabis Store as we do the LCBO and almost all other Ontario government bodies), and we are receiving complaints,” said Linda Williamson, director of communications for the Office of Ombudsman of Ontario. “As is our normal process, our staff are reviewing all complaints and resolving them informally wherever possible. At present, we are in contact with OCS officials and monitoring developments.”

The OCS is currently the only provincial retailer in Ontario and is only available online. Spokespersons say that it has received more than 150,000 orders for cannabis products since cannabis was legalized on October 17 which according to the OCS is more orders than the rest of the provinces have gotten combined.

The OCS says that the recent Canada Post strike has contributed largely to the delays and Canada Post has not denied this claim.

“The unbelievably high demand and complications related to rotating strikes at Canada Post, as well as noted mail backlog at Canada Post will result in longer-than-expected delivery times for some people.” The mail service admits that the rotating strikes definitely would have impacted cannabis deliveries.

“Toronto is a significant mail and processing hub for Canada Post. Employees returned to work last night. We apologize for any delays as we are making best efforts to minimize any impact on service. Any parcel that was in transit was safely stores during the strike activity,” said Canada Post in an email.

The OCS has said that to deal with the backlogged orders they have increased their number of call and email representatives to speak with customers in order to reduce wait times for people on hold with the organization.

“Efficiencies and ways to further expand capacity at the OCS distribution facility continue to be made to help meet the massive demand. Our staff continues to work around the clock to fulfil customer orders and respond to customer inquiries and calls,” the store said in an email to Global News.

The store did not respond when asked about how many representatives have been hired to deal with the unprecedented demand, according to Global News. “We continue to ask for the public’s patience as we work through these unprecedented issues,” said OCS president Patrick Ford in a statement.

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