After months of secrecy, CityNews has learned the location of the Ontario Cannabis Store warehouse, where legal weed is packed and shipped out.
The location of the warehouse has been a guarded secret since the early planning stages of legalization.
President of OPSEU Smokey Thomas revealed legal weed has been shipped out of a building in Oakville since October 17. It’s located in the middle of an industrial area where guards patrol the property and there is 24-hour surveillance.
Thomas decided to disclose the location because, according to him, workers at the warehouse were supposed to unionized, similar to LCBO employees, under the Liberal government.
But since the Conservatives have taken over, that is no longer the case.
When asked why he thinks these warehouse workers should be part of a union, Thomas said, ““We already understand from them, they could be treated better, they could be paid better. The whole premise here is there is so much money involved with alcohol and cannabis that wages are simply a round-up number. So there’s no reason not to treat workers well, not to see them have a pension, not see them have benefits and a living wage.”
After several requests to tour the warehouse, CityNews was repeatedly told no, with officials citing security reasons.
There have also been no responses to questions of who is operating the warehouse and how many people are employed.
Thomas said he also went public with the address because too many questions need to be answered about Domain Logistics, who is the company awarded the contract to run the warehouse.
The mayor of Oakville also did not have any idea the OCS warehouse was operating in his backyard until last month.
“I became aware that a cannabis distribution warehouse was operating in Oakville in December when senior town officials notified Town Council. Council and staff have been respecting the province’s request that the location be kept confidential,” said Mayor Rob Burton.
Thomas claims the cops were called when members approached OCS workers with information about organizing a union and an officer showed up at a member’s home.
Halton Police confirmed to CityNews, on December 12, they got a call to the Oakville warehouse to investigate “an anomalous package” and a suspicious vehicle that was seen in the area.
The investigation led them to two men who were identified as OPSEU members, but police say at no time, did they direct anybody from ceasing contact with employees of the distribution centre.
Halton Police’s full statement is below:
The Halton Regional Police Service responded to a call for service at a distribution centre in Oakville on December 12, 2018, after receiving a report regarding an anomalous package that had been received at that location. Police were also made aware of a suspicious vehicle seen in the area.
Investigation of the package and vehicle lead police to two males who were identified as members of OPSEU. In the course of the investigation,at no time, did police direct any persons to cease contact with employees of the distribution centre.
Upon inspection, it was determined that the package posed no risk to public safety. More broadly, the investigation into the occurrence determined there was never any related threat to public safety. No charges were laid in relation to this investigation.
I can confirm that our service is not participating in security activities for the Ontario Cannabis Store.
Ontario Cannabis Store did not answer any questions regarding their distribution centre on Tuesday, but did share they have delivered 400,000 orders since Oct. 17 and are no longer experiencing any delays.