The BC LDB says they are working with delivery companies Purolator Express and Orbis to airlift shipments of cannabis to retailers in those parts of the province currently inaccessible from BC’s Richmond cannabis warehouse.
In an email sent out to retailers on Thursday, the LDB is telling retailers who have been waiting on their orders that they hope to begin flying them from Richmond, BC to Calgary, AB to then be distributed into BC’s Interior region. It emphasizes this process will take time and cautions retailers to expect delays.
A storm on November 15 brought an enormous amount of rain to BC, causing flooding that resulted in several road closures. This is preventing road access from the province’s Lower Mainland to the Interior region, including its more than 100 cannabis stores. While some roads are expected to open in the coming days or weeks, others, where entire roads were washed out, are expected to take much longer. Routes into British Columbia from Alberta saw no such closures and can provide road access to the region.
Following these closures, several retailers said they had not received their orders. The province’s online platform used by retailers to place orders had a message telling retailers to expect delays and a few retailers say they have heard directly from the LRCB or LDB on the issue.
Some retailers rely on their weekly shipments. One retailer told StratCann earlier this week that they would begin to have empty shelves if they went more than about a week without an order, while another said they have enough stock on hand to last several weeks. One had a shipment for one store arrive just a few hours before road closures while their second store’s shipment sat on the road behind a cut-off roadway.
The newest messaging from the LDB says they will “continue to leverage different shipping options” and are prioritizing moving of previously-placed orders rather than new ones. Retailers are encouraged to contact the LDB’s customer care email.