Getting the legal cannabis industry underway in Canada's most populous province has not been smooth sailing.
Buying legal weed in Ontario isn't easy. There are no brick-and-mortar retail locations and in the province, and shoppers have experienced numerous glitches with the province-run webstore. And now the Ontario Cannabis Store (OCS) website is facing another issue: improperly labeled products.
When Peter Lyon logged on to the OCS website on October 17, he did so with the intention of buying a strain high in THC—the compound in marijuana that gets you high. However, that is not what he got.
"I searched for a high THC cannabis product, which was called Radiate—it was the highest one they had available," Lyon told CBC. "I haven't received my order yet, but I looked at my receipt and the THC content listed is very different from what I had originally ordered."
Not only is the error in the product labeling upsetting for customers who won't be getting what they paid for, cannabis retailers have a legal obligation to ensure that their labelling is accurate. Otherwise someone looking to unwind with a low-THC strain could wind up having a panic attack because the product they bought is way too potent.
And while it's easy to blame the OCS for the mix-up, it's seems the source of the problem comes from the producer. TerrAscend Canada, who produces Radiate, says the foul up is on them.
"An incorrect description for one product was provided by TerrAscend Canada for the Ontario Cannabis Store website," the company's vice president Ari Unterman explained.
As far as Lyon's concerned, these kinds of mix-ups are unacceptable and potentially dangerous.
"It's strange for a brand new website to make a mistake in something important as THC content. You don't want to be taking something when you don't really know what it is."
But mislabelling isn't the only problem that OCS customers are facing. Lyon says that two weeks have passed since he placed his order, and nothing has come in the mail yet. So customers are getting the wrong product, and it's taking too long to get to their doorstep. Which is good news for Ontario's black market for cannabis.