A contingency plan developed by the Ontario Cannabis Store (OCS) to cope with a rotating strike by its exclusive shipper has not been put into action, leading to lengthy shipping delays and thousands of customer complaints.
The OCS previously said its contingency plan was “ready in the event orders cannot be fulfilled due to the ongoing labor dispute” at Canada Post, “and will provide details at such time it would become necessary to put this plan into action.”
Now Minister Vic Fedeli says the OCS intends to continue using Canada’s main postal company throughout the rotating strikes – despite the shipping delays – and will go to ‘Plan B’ only if there is a general strike.
“We won’t be discussing what our Plan B is,” he said.
Experts worry the OCS is incurring long-term damage to its reputation as a business, which could mean fewer repeat customers as a result of its inability to fulfill orders.
Other Canadian provinces have reported little to no impact on their online cannabis delivery services because of the Canada Post strike.
Alberta Gaming, Liquor and Cannabis contracts both Canada Post and Purolator, and marijuana shoppers can choose either carrier at checkout.
“We are currently offering a 1-2-day delivery turnaround, and while we do anticipate some minor disruption to this time frame with the strike, we don’t expect it will be much,” an AGLC spokesperson wrote in an email to Marijuana Business Daily.
BC Cannabis Stores customers may have experienced “slight delays” in receiving their orders as a result of rotating strikes impacting Canada Post, according to the BC Liquor Distribution Branch.
In Saskatchewan, private businesses distribute and sell cannabis, both in stores and online. Individual stores determine their own shipping method.
Nova Scotia’s recreational cannabis retailer – the Nova Scotia Liquor Corp. (NSLC) – uses Canada Post’s expedited parcel service but has experienced only a one-day interruption. The NSLC has not diverted to its Plan B – Purolator – but said it could re-evaluate if the situation changes.
In Manitoba, physical and online cannabis retail stores are operated by the private sector. Some offer same-day delivery.
Cannabis NB – New Brunswick’s recreational cannabis retailer – says it is not experiencing “unusual” delivery delays beyond the “slight impact” from the Canada Post strike.
“The overall process is working as intended,” a spokesperson said.
Matt Lamers can be reached at [email protected]
To sign up for our weekly international marijuana business newsletter, click here.