Ontario Cannabis Store Unable to Make Deliveries After Partner Faces Cyberattack

Tara Deschamps, The Canadian Press

Posted Monday, August 8, 2022 at 10:49 p.m. EDT

Last updated Monday, August 8, 2022 at 11:33 p.m. EDT

TORONTO — The Ontario Cannabis Store says a cyberattack faced by one of its logistics partners has prevented the provincial pot distributor from processing or delivering orders to marijuana stores and customers.

The SCO said late Monday that there was no indication that its systems were targeted or that its customer information was compromised in the Aug. 5 attack on the parent company of its third-party fulfillment center, Domain Logistics.

“However, out of an abundance of caution to protect OCS and its customers, the decision has been made to close Domain Logistics’ operations until a full forensic investigation can be completed,” OCS said in a statement. communicated.

Domain Logistics did not immediately respond to a request for comment, but the OCS said it was working closely with the company and third-party cybersecurity experts to conduct an investigation, which is ongoing and expected to be completed. in the next few days.

The breach is likely to impact customers who purchase pot from the OCS website – the only legal online retailer of recreational cannabis in Ontario – and approximately 1,333 licensed cannabis stores, which are not have no choice but to buy the products they sell from the government-supported SCO. .

A letter from OCS to retailers obtained by The Canadian Press says any new product launches scheduled for this week will now be “delayed until further notice.”

“As a gesture of goodwill,” the OCS will also waive all retailer delivery fees through September 30 and a $500 processing fee for one rush order per store between September 1 and March 31, 2023.

The OCS and Domain Logistics did not specify when deliveries might resume, but promised to provide updates on this as soon as they become available.

The incident follows an announcement by the OCS on May 11 that the Ontario Provincial Police were investigating the “misappropriation” of confidential store sales data.

The breach “was not an IT security or systems failure”, the OCS said, after quickly launching an investigation to identify the source, restricting access to internal data reports and notifying police.

Both offenses came amid increased competition in Ontario’s cannabis industry, which has seen the number of cannabis stores skyrocket in recent months.

Many predict store closings are underway as demand for cannabis hasn’t kept pace with store openings, the illicit market remains strong, and stores have to constantly cut margins as competitors steadily lower prices. .

This report from The Canadian Press was first published on August 8, 2022.

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