Some BC retailers unable to place orders from LDB due to system error

| David Brown

Some cannabis stores in BC say they have been unable to order from the province’s online wholesale portal over the past few days. 

The issue is not impacting most of the more than 400 privately-owned cannabis retailers in British Columbia, but the BCLDB—which manages distribution and wholesaling to retailers—says more than a dozen stores have been affected.

A communications representative with the BCLDB highlighted that the issue is not impacting most stores, and is working with their IT team to address the issue.

“The BC Cannabis Wholesale website is operating, and orders are continuing to flow through the system as normal for the majority of our customers,” noted Kate Bilney, senior manager, communications and stakeholder relations for the LDB.  

“A small number of BC Cannabis Wholesale customers have reported experiencing a technical issue when attempting to place their order via our wholesale website. The issue is impacting about 15 customers.”

“We are working with those retailers experiencing the technical issue to get their orders placed and shipped, and we expect their orders to be delivered with minimal to no delays.”

Andrea Dobbs, the co-owner of Village Bloomery, a cannabis store in Vancouver, says she’s frustrated that the province doesn’t have any workarounds to address an issue like this. 

“(Only) 20 people are being affected and you can’t pull an order from your back end?” she asks.

“I would be behind them if this was their whole system being down, but if you don’t have some fail-safes for a handful of people you’re supposed to be serving. Are we not your customers?”

Dobbs says she hasn’t been able to complete an order on the wholesale website for two days (as of Thursday evening, Jan 26). Although she can fill her cart, when she tried to complete the order, the final button simply didn’t work. 

Her biggest concern is that a few of the products she was trying to order are in limited supply, and she has no way to reserve them until the system is up and running. 

“It would be nice if we could just call them and ask them to pull this order. We have to set it aside until this glitch is fixed.”

Janeen Davis, VP of sales at Joint Venture Craft Cannabis Inc., which sells under the popular BC Black brand, among others, says they only learned of the issue when some retailers reached out to ask them about direct delivery options. 

“I first learned about the issue when I had a few of our key retail accounts reach out and ask if we could maybe do an overnight direct delivery for them because they were unable to place any orders through the BCLDB yesterday and today,” explains Davis.

“At first we thought it was only Vancouver-area retailers, but we’ve since learned that it may have impacted some retailers outside the Vancouver area as well.”

Dobbs says she sees this as another reason why the direct delivery program is becoming increasingly popular with some BC producers and retailers. 

“Why can’t the LDB just take my order via email just like the people with direct delivery do, where they can turn around in a day?”