Article by Harold Camaya, The Leaf Online
More and more Toronto residents are discovering the convenience of ordering their marijuana online – you take out your phone, find the product you want, press a few buttons, and the finest quality herb is on its way to your doorstep!
However, many people are still apprehensive about ordering it online. Even though the purchase of adult use cannabis is legal, there are still laws and regulations that can confuse the process of buying it. This article hopes to clear any questions you may have about buying cannabis online!
First off, the only licensing authority for retail cannabis stores within Ontario is the AGCO (Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario). At the time of posting this article, the AGCO permits cannabis dispensaries to offer cannabis delivery services and curbside pickup between 9 am to 11 pm during Step 2 of Ontario’s re-opening plan.
The earliest date Ontario is allowed to move into Step 3 of its plan to reopen the province is Wednesday, July 21. It is unclear if cannabis shops are permitted to offer delivery services and curbside pickup during Step 3 of reopening. However, the Ontario Cannabis Store is permitted to provide delivery services, regardless of the Step Ontario is currently in.
Buying marijuana online: FAQs
1. Are All Online Marijuana Dispensaries Licensed?
You can’t sell recreational cannabis in Canada without a cannabis license so, legally, all online marijuana dispensaries should be licensed. Unfortunately, many of them aren’t.
A Google search of the term “mail order marijuana” or “cannabis mail order service” will yield you thousands of results but many of them are not legal.
There are risks to buying marijuana online from illegitimate retailers, such as receiving poor-quality cannabis or marijuana that is mixed without other substances – all of which can negatively impact your health.
In worst-case scenarios, you may spend hundreds or even thousands of dollars and never receive your product.
Most importantly, it’s against the law to purchase marijuana from an unlicensed retailer, so it’s imperative that you stick to licensed retailers.
2. How Can I Make Sure an Online Cannabis Retailer is Legit?
There are some ways that you can ensure that online retailers are safe when it comes to buying your marijuana online.
The first thing you should look for is an excise stamp on the package. This stamp is a guarantee that the product has been produced according to health and safety standards, is free from other substances, and accurately reflects the THC levels it claims to have.
You should also check the website for signs of legitimacy. If the site is poorly designed, unprofessional, and lacks contact information or information about the business, it’s likely an illegal dispensary offering illegal marijuana delivery.
Be wary of how the business accepts payments. Illegal online cannabis retailers typically accept all forms of payment without restrictions, such as e-transfers to generic email addresses and cash.
Lastly, Google the business and check out the reviews. You can even search the business through the Better Business Bureau to verify any official complaints made against them.
3. Is It Cheaper to Buy Cannabis Online?
Many cannabis consumers will tell you that it is cheaper to buy weed online but you have to be wary of the price difference.
Legal online retailers can offer better prices on marijuana products because they have fewer overhead costs. Plus, many online cannabis stores want to encourage you to become a loyal customer so they will often offer promotions or special discounts for repeat buyers.
You do have to be careful of online prices since a drastic price difference is also a sign that a business is not legit.
A good rule of thumb is that if the price seems too good to be true, it probably is. Use your better judgment when it comes to comparing the cost of marijuana online to local dispensaries. A good deal is typically safe but an amazing deal is a little suspicious. A rule of thumb would be to avoid companies that advertise the lowest prices guaranteed.
4. Can I Order Cannabis Online Through a Local Weed Dispensary?
In Canada, you can order weed online from all provinces. Each province sells marijuana products through online government websites or licensed private retailers.
As far as making purchases from an online dispensary, legal retailers are only allowed to ship within the province in which they operate, so as long as your local marijuana dispensary is within your province of residence, you can make your purchases online and have them shipped to your home through Canada Post. Sometimes the easiest thing to do is look up a well-known, reputable cannabis store near you.