Complaints and delays plaguing rollout of legal weed in Toronto
It's been a month since cannabis stores became legal in Ontario, but some licensed retailers in Toronto are still struggling to open.
Out of the five pot purveyors who were supposed to be selling weed by April 1, only three have managed to start selling bud, pre-rolls, and oils to the public before the one-month mark.
With legalization day long come and gone (and the euphoria of being able to spark a joint in public gone with it), the turtle-paced roll-out of Toronto's weed retail scene goes to show the government and the OCS have some work to do before purchasing legal weed can be completely glitch-free (and lineup free, too).
Here are a few of the lows of getting high, courtesy of Toronto weed stores since buying pot became legal.
According to Statistics Canada, prices for weed have steadily been on the up and up since legalization last year.
While Nova Cannabis is trying to tackle its biggest competitor (illicit weed stores) with Black Market Buster deals, people who are buying their cannabis from the OCS are now paying an average of about $9.99 per gram—that's roughly $3 more than those buying their bud from illegal stores.
I cant figure out why @ONCannabisStore prices are so unreasonably high. It must be the high rent of having a brick and mortar shop in the heart of Toronto. That and the amount of marketing it takes to sell weed /s— Weedikitter (@weedikitter) October 22, 2018
There's still around 20 illegal dispensaries operating in the city, and at least 100 illegal marijuana delivery services. Why? See above: unlicensed weed stores are significantly cheaper than the legal ones, and loopholes in the city's laws allow them to operate pretty much undisturbed, save for the occasional raids.
If you're a Torontonian with mobility issues, good luck trying to get into Hunny Pot. The Queen West pot shop has been criticized for violating the Ontario Building Code, which requires the renovated space to be accessible for those with disabilities.
In fact, Ken Harrower, a disabled man from Toronto, is launching a human rights challenge against Ontario's Attorney General, the Office of the Premier, and the Toronto Police Service, for not actively ensuring the cannabis retail system is accessible for all.
I thought there were problems when I saw opening day news. I kept looking for an elevator or even a lift but couldn't see one. It looked like a newly renovated building so I thought it would fall under the accessibility laws. I guess not 😥😦😧— Julie Rees (@juniorjulie25) April 8, 2019
Aside from the fact every product coming out of the OCS comes triple-wrapped in excessive, sometimes non-recyclable polypropylene packaging, the containers are just plain confusing.
Lack of packaging standards means your order comes in all shapes and sizes, regardless of whether you're getting bud or pre-rolled joints, which is as confusing for buyers as it is for those behind the counter.
@ONCannabisStore @fordnation— Mia Culpa (@ms_culpa) April 11, 2019
Why does the product sold in stores, come in so much wasteful packaging? A sealed, black plastic container, inside a giant cardboard box? Why all the pointless waste? Add this to the higher prices you charge, I won't be back. #OCS
That means depending on which LP made your product, you might get your flower in a container, or maybe a long tube—the same kind of tube you might get a pre-roll in from another LP. Who else is missing the baggies already?
Hector Vasquez of Nova Cannabis
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