Pot shop owners worry they’ll lose customers if halt on OCS deliveries stretches on

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TORONTO — Pot shop owners say they’re worried they will lose customers and run out of product if a halt on Ontario Cannabis Store deliveries stretches on and consumers turn to the illicit market.

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The stores say they have been left with no other choice but to make due with the stock they have after the provincial pot distributor informed them Monday that a cyberattack faced by one of its logistics partners had left it unable to process or deliver orders to marijuana shops and customers.

The OCS has said there is no indication that its systems were targeted or its customers’ information was compromised during the Aug. 5 attack on the parent company of its third-party distribution centre, Domain Logistics.

The OCS has not offered a timeline for how soon it could be making deliveries to customers who shop for pot on its website or the roughly 1,333 licensed cannabis stores, which must buy the products they sell from the government-backed OCS.

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Sean Kady says his Cosmic Charlies pot shop in Toronto has a good supply of product right now, but has heard of rivals that are “pulling out their hair” because their stockpile is dwindling.

Lisa Bigioni, who owns the Stok’d cannabis chain, estimates she has enough marijuana to keep her stores stocked for a week but worries about the halt on deliveries continuing past that.

Because it’s unsure of when deliveries will restart, High Tide Inc., which is behind the Canna Cabana chain, says it is reallocating inventory from lower volume stores to higher volume ones.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 9, 2022.

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