Quebec and Ontario, two of the largest provinces, suffering from shortages due to supply and postal strike just more than a week into sales
Just more than a week after Canada became the first G-7 nation to legalize marijuana for adult recreational use, provincial sellers are reporting supply shortages and other difficulties getting the product to consumers.
Federal government officials and executives at major marijuana producers around the country warned MarketWatch in past interviews that the first weeks — even months — would not run like clockwork following Oct. 17 legalization. The dearth of bricks-and-mortar retail locations in some of the country’s largest provinces, a rotating national postal strike which has hampered online orders and a backlog in federal licensing have all worked together to exacerbate what was already a challenging undertaking.
“Yes, the long-eluded-to ‘supply crunch’ is now a reality,” Deepak Anand, vice president of business development and government relations at marijuana-consulting company Cannabis Compliance Inc., said Friday. “Licensed producers are certainly looking to supply more product.”
In Quebec, the country’s second most populous province, the government said its offical store would only be open from Thursday to Sunday, closing the rest of the week because it didn’t have enough pot to sell. The online store will remain open and the bricks-and-mortar retail closures will continue until further notice.
Quebec has set up agreements with only a handful of licensed producers, but even provinces with many more supply agreements suffered from issues.
The Ontario Cannabis Store, or OCS, an online retailer operated by the country’s most populous province, Ontario, was receiving complaints online about delivery times and cancellations as well as quality of the product. Officials said the online store made 100,000 sales within the first 24 hours and as of Tuesday afternoon had processed 150,000 orders since Oct. 17. The OCS said it has enough pot to supply all the orders and continues to receive more….
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