Auditor General: Ontario not properly monitoring movement of recreational cannabis in retail stores

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Ontario’s Auditor General Bonnie Lysyk says there is a lack of transparency and oversight with the operations of the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO), the agency responsible for regulating the alcohol, gaming, horse-racing and private cannabis retail sectors throughout the province. With nearly 80,000 licensees across four industries in its purview, Lysyk’s report states that “the AGCO does not have strong processes and systems in place to effectively carry out its regulated activities.” Ontario is picking up the pace with cannabis retail stores, but staying in the game is no easy task Ontario cannabis retail market likely has a year or two at current pace of growth before saturation Canadian cannabis sales went through the roof in March When it comes to cannabis, Lysyk flagged multiple areas of concern, including that “the AGCO is not properly monitoring the movement of recreational cannabis in retail stores.” According to the report , almost 5,500 units of cannabis products were destroyed by cannabis retailers between September 2019 and July 2020, but the AGCO received no assurance that these units were “not lost, stolen or diverted.” During that same period, the report found that cannabis retailers had 84,228 fewer units on hand than recorded in their inventory systems. Jaclynn Pehota, executive director at the Association of Canadian Cannabis Retailers (ACCRES), characterized those findings as “not overly surprising” and “foibles of centralized distribution.” The Ontario Cannabis Store has a monopoly on online recreational cannabis sales, as well as acts as the wholesale distributor for retailers throughout the province. “I think these distribution systems were launched with a degree of haste and they were modeled on alcohol distribution systems and, unfortunately, alcohol and cannabis are not identical in terms of how they need to be stored and managed at the inventory level,” Pehota told…

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Source : Auditor General: Ontario not properly monitoring movement of recreational cannabis in retail stores

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