Counterfeit Cannabis: How To Tell If Your Canadian Weed is Actually Legal

Article by Harrison Jordan, Leafly

CANADA INDUSTRY Counterfeit Cannabis: How To Tell If Your Canadian Weed is Actually Legal HARRISON JORDAN June 26, 2019 Brittany Flegel/Leafly

recent report by CBC News underscores the importance of the little excise duty stamp affixed to all legally-purchased cannabis products in the country.

The news outlet reports that in Saskatchewan, counterfeit cannabis products including pre-rolls of dried cannabis have been making the rounds, bearing the same red standardized THC logo and yellow warning messages that legal cannabis products must contain by law.

Those behind the fake ‘legal’ products could face a daily dose of legal jeopardy. While the federal Cannabis Act contains criminal offences against production and selling, the federal Excise Act also contains offences against packaging cannabis for sale without an excise stamp, a small paper-like stamp that lawful producers must affix to all packages.

It’s precisely that excise stamp that consumers should look for on their packaged cannabis in order to determine if the product is legal. The middle portion of the excise stamp should also glisten under light and should come with a unique number written on it.

Will they remain one step ahead?

Counterfeiters are known to stay one step ahead in other industries, but it doesn’t appear they’ve gone to the lengths of faking and affixing actual excise stamps to their packages.

If they do, however, it’s possible it might become practically impossible to detect whether it is a real product or not.

Still, there are ways you can identify whether your product was lawfully produced.

How to be sure your product is legal?

Suspicious that your cannabis product might not have been legally produced? Here’s what you will see on every legal cannabis product:

First, look for the excise stamp, which is affixed to the outermost packaging that your product comes in. If it’s missing, doesn’t match your province, or the middle part of the stamp doesn’t shine, that’s usually a warning sign.

However, no stamp could mean that it’s a low THC product, which is exempt from the excise stamp.

In addition, you will always see the THC and CBD content labelled, whether in milligrams or as a percentage.

Finally, you can also look into the parent company behind the apparent brand of the product. Health Canada has a list of all producers on their website. This may take a bit of legwork, as the parent company typically has a different name than the brand.

Read the full article here.

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