Cannabis delivery complaints under review by Office of the Ontario Ombudsman
A worker applies a shipping label to a package of cannabis products at the Ontario Cannabis Store distribution centre in an undated handout photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Ontario Cannabis Store
TORONTO -- The Office of the Ontario Ombudsman says it has received complaints over delays in the delivery of cannabis in the province, almost two weeks since the drug was legalized across the country.
In an email Monday, spokeswoman Linda Williamson says there is no formal investigation, but staff are reviewing all complaints against the Ontario Cannabis Store and resolving them informally wherever possible.
She says the office has been receiving complaints "over the past several days," but did not say how many have been filed.
The online Ontario Cannabis Store (OCS) is the only legal retailer of cannabis in the province, and private retail brick-and-mortar stores aren't set to open until April next year.
Williamson says if the ombudsman decides to pursue a formal investigation, the process is to first inform the organization in writing and then announce it publicly.
She adds the ombudsman has been in contact with OCS officials and is monitoring developments.
Ontario residents have expressed their frustrations on social media at the delays, saying consumers have no other legal means of purchasing cannabis while they await their orders.
The provincially run OCS warned on its website last week that delivery times for their orders may be longer than expected due to "unbelievably high demand" and labour action at Canada Post.
It said in a statement Thursday that it has processed more than 150,000 orders since Oct. 17 and has added "additional capacity" to its processing facility to meet the "unprecedented demand" for legal marijuana.
The OCS was not immediately available for comment Monday night.