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Flood of complaints about new pot store

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TORONTO—Ontario's ombudsman said yesterday his office has received more than 1,000 complaints about the province's online cannabis store since it launched earlier this month.

Paul Dube said he's set up a triage team to deal specifically with the flood of concerns over the government-run Ontario Cannabis Store.

The most common complaints have involved delayed deliveries, poor communication with customers, and billing problems, Dube noted.

“I have informed the OCS that we are seeing a high volume of complaints and we are monitoring their response to these issues,” Dube said in a statement.

Dube's office has yet to launch a formal investigation into the complaints and said that if the OCS can alleviate the issues, a deeper probe may not be required.

The online store currently is the only legal retailer of cannabis in the province as private retail brick-and-mortar stores aren't set to open until April.

Ontario residents have expressed their frustrations on social media at delays in cannabis deliveries, saying consumers have no other legal means of purchasing recreational marijuana while they wait for their orders.

The 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.

The OCS did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Asked earlier yesterday about the Ombudsman fielding complaints about the OCS, Finance minister Vic Fedeli stressed customers deserve good service.

“It was prohibition for a century," he noted. ”We've opened a multi-million business in a multi-billion sector. . . .

“So there is work to do.”

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