Just over a week after Canada became the first G-7 nation to legalize marijuana for adult recreational use, provincial sellers…
Just over 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 crisis is now a reality,” said Deepak Anand, vice president of business development and government relations at Cannabis Compliance Inc., Marijuana Consulting Company. “Licensed producers are certainly looking to supply more product.”
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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 did not 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 orders and continues to receive more.
Shortages and delivery issues around the country have been compounded by rotating strikes at the country’s national post office Canada Post, which has affected different regions . For eksempel, postkontoret fortalte en kanadisk avis at Toronto, den største bybyen i landet, er en “signifikant post- og behandlingshub”, og strikingarbeidere gjør de “bestræbelser på å minimere enhver påvirkning på service.” Roughly 9,000 Postal workers walked off the job in Toronto on Tuesday.
Not every province has suffered from problems, however. New Brunswick sold C $ 2.1 million worth of cannabis the first week with few issues.
For the largest licensed producers, it’s less clear how the shortages will affect the quarter’s sales and profits. Buyers in Nova Scotia, which sells in government-run stores, and Alberta, which has deployed private retailers in several cities, said that they had received about 40% of the weed they ordered from the country’s licensed pot producers.
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Major producers MarketWatch talked with Canada last week such as Canopy Growth Corp.
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and Cronos Group Inc.