Ontario Cannabis Store mum on backup delivery plan amid Canada Post strikes, wave of complaints

Cannabis buds lay along a drying rack at the CannTrust Niagara Greenhouse Facility in Fenwick, Ont., on Tuesday, June 26, 2018. The Ontario Cannabis Store says it has received about 100,000 online orders in the first 24 hours that marijuana was legal in Canada. THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Tijana Martin. THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Tijana Martin

As Canada Post strikes continue, the Ontario Cannabis Store is refusing to say when it will implement a so-called “contingency plan” to get pot to consumers.

That’s despite hundreds of people complaining online that their orders have been stalled or cancelled altogether in the week since legalization.

READ MORE: Ontario Cannabis Store says it had 100,000 online sales in first 24 hours of legalization

Cannabis became legal in Canada on Oct. 17 with provinces and territories launching a range of models using either retail or online stores, or both.

In Ontario, private stores will not open until April 2019 and in the meantime, the Ontario Cannabis Store is the only legal retailer for cannabis in the province.

READ MORE: As Canada Post prepares to strike, Ontario Cannabis Store considering alternatives to meet demands

But in the week since legalization, hundreds of Ontario consumers have taken to social media to complain the online retailer has failed to meet its promised one- to three-day delivery window, cancelled orders without notice and is failing to give any information to consumers about how they plan to deal with the ongoing Canada Post strike.

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And as of Wednesday, its customer service hotline is also out of service “due to circumstances beyond our control.”

In a statement released Tuesday afternoon, the Ontario Cannabis Store said it has processed 100,000 orders so far.

That’s roughly the same amount it had previously said had been placed by consumers over the first 24 hours of legalization.

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“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, in the statement.

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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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Consumers fed up with what they described as a lack of communication and preparation on the part of the Ontario Cannabis Store weren’t satisfied with that response.

And although the statement reiterated a pledge from the retailer that it has a backup plan to deal with the Canada Post strike, the Ontario Cannabis Store has so far refused to say what it is or when it will be put in place.

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“OCS has a contingency plan in the event orders cannot be fulfilled due to the ongoing labour dispute at Canada Post, and will provide details at such time it would become necessary to put this plan into action.” the statement read.

Global News asked a spokesperson for the Ontario Cannabis Store for clearer details about when it will put the contingency plan in place.

So far, no response has been given.

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