Several contracted cannabis suppliers unable to deliver on supply promise
Amid a nationwide legal cannabis shortage, B.C. is looking for more cannabis suppliers as some with contracts to supply the monthold legal market haven’t come through with the product they had promised.
Some producers, “including five of the largest producers, have been unable to deliver the volumes that they had originally committed to,” said Kate Bilney, B.C. Liquor Distribution Branch senior communications officer in an email.
But she said the B.C. LDB is “continuing to receive inven- tory at its distribution centre” and working with licensed producers to “regularly replenish stock” for its online store and its lone government store in Kamloops.
Since legalization Oct. 17, the legal market hasn’t been able to keep up with demand in other provinces.
In Ontario (where a store won’t open until at least April), the online store has been flooded with tens of thousands of orders. Manitoba stores expect shortages online and in person for as long as six months. Quebec closed its government-run shops for three days late last month because of a lack of pot and had plans to keep them shut Mondays through Wednesdays until availability stabilizes. Shortages shut stores in New Brunswick, too, and one shop in Labrador City went 10 days without any product.
“There are no plans to close the Kamloops cannabis store due to a lack of product supply,” said Bilney.
And the province is continuing to source out new suppliers and “will continue to engage with additional licensed producers,” she said.
“The LDB is committed to engaging with any licensed producer of non-medical cannabis that is interested in supplying the B.C. market.”
The province is not penalizing or dropping the suppliers who have not met their contractual obligations, she said.
“Given the infant nature of the industry, the LDB has chosen not to exercise a non-compliance penalty at this time,” she said.
Asked if the government is certain suppliers under contract to the legal market aren’t instead supplying the illegal or medicinal retailers if they’re offered better profit margins, she said, “The LDB is continuing to work closely with all licensed producers as they work through the issues impacting their supply.”
She said, “Stabilization of this new industry won’t happen overnight” but a tight supply market would not affect the approval of additional legal private stores.
The province is continuing to source new pot suppliers due to a lack of product supply.