The Ontario Cannabis Store (OCS), the official licensed retail distributor for the province’s cannabis stores has decided to upgrade its distribution centre and make the move to Guelph to an undisclosed industrialized zone location.
The original facility was located in Oakville and employed roughly 100 workers but was designed on a different business model as the government originally planned to operate the retail side of the business in Ontario.
Now that the decision has been made to go with a privately owned retailers business model, the distribution centre needed a change to be able to implement more automation and efficiently serve the ever-growing number of retailers in the province. A bigger warehouse was needed to scale up the automation process from the previous Oakville location. The Facility will be used as a warehouse where the online orders coming from the OCS website can be fulfilled and shipped directly to the customers, as well as fulfilling orders from all of the Ontario Cannabis Store licensed wholesale partners who in turns, distribute the products to the licensed stores throughout the province and the country. The new facility is up and running since last fall and now employs around 200 workers, double the numbers it used to have back in Oakville.
Many other cities were in the run for the eventual move of the distribution centre but the OCS decided on the city of Guelph for its easy access to the Highway 401 from East and West and previous positive experience with Guelph’s officials all helped in the decision. The sizable workforce available in the community and the ease of access to the facility via the public transit for the workers weighed in the balance as well. Daffyd Roderick, the senior director of communications and social responsibility for the OCS said earlier last year it was important for the company to partner up with a community that would be welcoming the new facility and the boost in newly available jobs for the community.
In late 2020, the number of licensed retail cannabis stores in Ontario was at 164 and some rough estimates had the store counts at over 500 by the end of next year. In February 2021, Ontario had around 430 cannabis licensed retailers open to the public and around 940 applications were still in the process of approval.
The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario has received more than 1630 applications for cannabis licensed retail stores and so far have issued 489 of those an RSA (Retail Store Authorizations).
At the end of 2020, The corporate giant High Tide (TSXV:HITI) (OTCQB:HITIF) (FRA:2LY) also announced a new retail store opening in Guelph locate at 3 Woodlawn Road West. It marks the 13th location opened under the brand name in Ontario and 67th across Canada. Another 11 locations are still in the process of approval through the AGCO licence procedure.
The Meta Cannabis Co. retail store officially opened its door in mid-December of 2020.
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