The mail-order cannabis industry is expected to grow by leaps and bounds once legalization officially takes effect, with one report projecting that more than a third of recreational users will turn to online purchasing after Oct. 17.
And restricting young peoples’ access to the drug is one of the central, explicit goals of the Canadian government taking over what, for decades, has been a largely illicit market. But opening up cannabis access to all Canadians of legal age is raising concerns about whether pot deliveries will provide young people with a workaround to the mandatory ID checks at storefront retailers.
Marc Paris, executive director of Drug Free Kids Canada, said his organization feels a number of questions have yet to be answered about how cannabis will be kept out of the reach of Canadian kids.
“With the impending legalization of recreational cannabis there are many potential risks to our youth,” he said in an email, adding postal delivery is one of his top concerns. “How secure is the (delivery) system? Will they be dropping it at the door like Amazon?”
The federal government itself acknowledges that youth use and misuse of cannabis is an issue in the country.
“Canadians continue to use cannabis at some of the highest rates in the world,” reads a statement from the government’s website. “In 2015, 21% of youth … reported using cannabis within the last year,” reads a statement on a federal government webpage.