Extreme climate in B.C. highlights have to revamp provincial hashish provide chain

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Weed retailers concerned that empty shelves will push cannabis consumers to the illegal market.

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Angela Stelmakowich FILE: A motorist drives on a service road along the closed Trans-Canada Highway as floodwaters fill the ditches beside the highway and farmland in Abbotsford, B.C., on Wednesday, Dec. 1, 2021. / FILE: A motorist drives on a service road along the closed Trans-Canada Highway as floodwaters fill the ditches beside the highway and farmland in Abbotsford, B.C., on Wednesday, Dec. 1, 2021. / Photo by THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

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Peter Hall, a transportation logistics researcher and a professor at Simon Fraser University, says the fix for southwestern B.C.’s supply chain issues demands dramatically improving the damaged rail and road infrastructure, per BIV.

For the cannabis industry specifically, the Association of Canadian Cannabis Retailers (ACCRES) posted a tweet about the “significant impact” the extreme weather was having on pot shop owners. “Already struggling small businesses are facing empty shelves & unhappy customers. Concern shortages will push consumers back to unregulated sources in key markets is mounting,” it noted.

ACCRES would like to see local deliveries directly from B.C. cannabis producers to stores, according to MJBiz.

Extreme weather is having a significant impact on private cannabis retailers across BC. Already struggling small businesses are facing empty shelves & unhappy customers.
Concern shortages will push cosumers back to unregulated sources in key markets is [email protected]

— ACCRES-Association of Canadian Cannabis Retailers (@ACCRES_ca) December 1, 2021

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Back in the spring of 2020, when COVID-19 was quickly advancing and spreading, the Ontario government passed an emergency order to allow cannabis retail stores to re-open for click-and-collect and delivery services. Around that time, the Consumer Choice Center argued that cannabis home deliveries from retailers to customers should be permanent.

According to the LDB, the province announced the implementation of a direct delivery program for non-medical cannabis in September of 2020.

“Since then, the Cannabis Secretariat and the B.C. Liquor Distribution Branch, which is the sole wholesaler of non-medical cannabis, have engaged with stakeholders to help determine the threshold for enrollment of producers, how to address barriers to success and what supports are required to ensure broad adoption,” notes a government update.

MJBiz reports that LDB’s planned launch of a direct-supply system is not expected to move forward until next fall.

In the meantime, some retailers say regular and timely deliveries are key to help ensure pot shops can keep afloat and customers remain loyal to legal providers.

Per Energetic City, an LDB spokesperson says the agency will continue to work with “vendors and freight carriers to maintain regular service levels and we appreciate their patience during this time.”

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