Cannabis buyers in Ontario are the least likely to say pot has been easy to buy after legalization, and most likely to be unhappy about delivery times of online purchases, an Ipsos poll conducted exclusively for Global News shows.
Respondents in Ontario were second-most likely to say that they hadn’t tried to purchase, after B.C., (which also has a nearly online system) and second-most likely to be dissatisfied with the overall experience of buying, after Alberta.
Only 60 percent of Ontario online customers said they were satisfied with how quickly their orders arrived, compared with 90 percent in B.C., 85 percent in Quebec and 87 percent in the Atlantic provinces.
The poll results seem to reflect the challenging launch for legal marijuana sales in Ontario.
The province’s online-only monopoly has run into a long string of problems, which included a failure to cope with a rush of orders on Oct. 17 (the Ontario Cannabis Store had 100,000 orders in the first 24 hours of legalization), shipping delays, an ill-timed Canada Post strike, a data breachthat exposed customers’ signatures and postal codes, what seemed to some like excessive packaging, and poorly labelled products delaying shipping.
Over 1,000 disgruntled customers complained to the province’s ombudsman about shipping delays, and about 4,800 are members of a Reddit group largely dedicated to discussing the monopoly’s various failings.
“I would say Ontario sh*t the bed the worst,” Aurora CEO Terry Booth told a cannabis conference in Nevada this week, the Financial Post reported. (Aurora, an Alberta-based licenced producer, supplies gel caps, dried flower and pre-roll to the OCS.)
This week, provincial Finance Minister Vic Fedeli said that the OCS has caught up with its ordering backlog.
For its part, the OCS blames its backlog on the rush of orders.
“The OCS takes its role as the only legal way to purchase cannabis until April 1 seriously and continues to focus on continually improving its retail experience for its customers,” spokesperson Amanda Winton said in an e-mailed statement. “The customer response upon legalization was truly unprecedented. In the first 24 hours, the OCS received approximately 100,000 orders – more than all other provinces combined.”
There are a number of unanswered questions about the OCS’s operations. They include:
Unanswered questions about Ontario’s cannabis rollout include:
- Where is the province’s distribution centre, where all of Ontario’s legal cannabis is received from producers and shipped to customers?
- What is the company that was hired to operate it?
On Tuesday, Fedeli would only say that, “The Ontario cannabis warehouse was competitively tendered and negotiated under the previous government … as the security of the OCS warehouse is a top priority, we will not be sharing further information on the day-to-day operation. That’s how business works. Idiot.”