October 24, 2018

Canada Update: Please Mr. Postman, Bring me My Weed, That is if There’s Any Left

October 24, 2018
The Canadian government controls online cannabis sales in many provinces; tells people to be patient, we're trying.

As we reported, one day after Canada legalized cannabis, dispensaries and shops around the country promptly ran out of supplies.

The Canadian government, which is in control of selling cannabis online in many of the country’s 13 provinces and territories, assured people that they’d pick up the slack and ship people’s pot orders in due course.

The government-run Ontario Cannabis Store in charge of shipping off the goods, says it received about 100,000 online orders in the first 24 hours after marijuana went legal.

Then came the Canadian postal strike, which is still going on.

And then came the complaints: Where’s my stuff?

A Tweet from a weekly Canadian television comedy says it all.

The Ontario Cannabis Store (OCS) is now refusing to say when or how it will implement its so-called “contingency plan” to get the cannabis and its consumers in the same room.

The OCS and private retail portals are all powered by Shopify’s e-commerce software, which is collectively processing more than 100 orders per minute, according to the the Ottawa-based company.

Shopify insisted that its partner stores experienced no outages, but rather there was just not enough supply to meet the demand.

Shopify CEO Loren Padelford, speaking to Ottawa CBC News, compared the rush to Black Friday or Cyber Monday. Indeed, Canada’s online stores saw “millions of visitors” from Canada and around the world in the hours after they went live at 12:01 a.m. on Oct. 17, 2018.

Despite the cannabis shortages and risk of sharing personal data online, a huge swath of Canadians have no choice but to buy their weed online from the Ontario Cannabis Store.

Private retail shops are opening gradually across the country over the next several months.

If this situation lingers and shortages continue, it would not be surprising if Canadians starting calling their former the black market suppliers.

In a statement released Tuesday afternoon and reported by Global News, the Ontario Cannabis Store discouraged people from doing that.

“We ask for and appreciate the public’s patience as OCS continues to process orders as quickly as possible as this new business takes hold in Ontario,” said Patrick Ford, president of the corporation.

His statement also cited “unbelievably high demand and complications related to rotating strikes at Canada Post” as being to blame for “longer-than-expected delivery times.”


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