The Ontario Cannabis Store (OCS) says operations are resuming at its distribution centre after being disrupted by a cyberattack earlier this week.
“The Ontario Cannabis Store’s distribution centre is in the process of returning to operational status,” the government-run cannabis distributor said on its website late Wednesday afternoon. “A small number of deliveries from the distribution centre will be made later today, beginning with the delivery of the orders that were impacted at the time of shut down.”
The OCS was made aware of a breach at one of its logistics partners on Friday and was forced to shut down its distribution centre in Guelph as a result. It was unable to fulfil orders as of Monday.
“I'm happy to say that we are in the final stages of the investigation now that's led by third-party cybersecurity experts, and we are in the process of turning on our distribution centre so that we can get orders back out to stores,” OCS CEO David Lobo told CP24 in an interview Wednesday afternoon.
Lobo said a small number of orders will go out Wednesday evening and that OCS staff will be "working 24/7 around the clock” to ensure that the remaining orders go out as quickly as possible over the next few days.
“We know how much our retail partners rely on this product,” Lobo said. “We are extremely sorry that they felt this distribution and ultimately may not have had the products they need to provide the service that they want to end consumers so we're gonna get these out as quickly as possible.”
The OCS is the sole distributor of recreational cannabis products in Ontario, meaning that all legally operated stores in the province must get their inventory from them.
He acknowledged that some stores have been running low on product offerings because of the problem at the OCS distribution centre and said that more work needs to be done in order to support stores and make sure that customers know they can buy reliably as they continue to transition from the illicit market.
“That work is not done. I think we've made a lot of progress with our retailers and a lot of exciting products that have launched over the last couple of months,” Lobo said. “But without question, I think there's work that we will have to do to support our retail stores so we can rebound from this in the weeks and months ahead. And there's a lot more work over the coming years to not only move customers in but keep them there.”
Lobo said that so far it appears no customer information or OCS system was impacted by the breach. However he said that "thorough investigations" are necessary in such a situation in order to ensure that consumer data is protected.