Nothing in this article should be taken as advice.
Believe it or not, if you want to buy a joint in Canada, more often than not you’ll have to resort to buying weed online. Between infrastructure issues, federal and municipal legislation, and the long wait to obtain a license, more and more people find themselves turning to online weed dispensaries.
Some of you may think that an online weed store is a godsend. It is in a way, but you might find that online and retail weed stores share a lot of problems in terms of operational efficiency, setting up a business, finding and servicing buyers, and so on.
Where to Buy Weed Online
There are a number of online dispensaries that cater to people that don’t have anything local. There’s also the typical advantage of buying online, such as the selection of products from various growers. If you like variety, you already know what to do.
This is one of the more popular private online Canadian weed dispensaries. It sells everything from CBD products to vaping gear, cannabis, concentrates, tinctures, and a whole lot more.
It’s also one of the few dispensaries that sell THC-infused edibles, which aren’t supposed to hit retail stores until some time in 2020.
Opening an account is very simple and shouldn’t take more than 24 hours. After that, you can add your favorite items to the cart and place an order.
You’ll receive a tracking number (Canada Post Xpresspost) and the package should arrive in one to eight business days, depending on the distance from British Columbia, where the warehouse is located.
How to Buy Weed Online
You should know a couple of things before you try to buy from an online dispensary. First of all, you need to check your local legislation regarding marijuana.
For example, if you live in Ontario, you have to be 21 years old to purchase marijuana. But, if you happen to spend a weekend in British Columbia, you only have to be 19 years old to buy and smoke a joint from a local dispensary.
So, how does all of this impact online transactions? Say you access an Ontario cannabis store from your flat in Alberta, you won’t have to be 21 years old to order.
You only have to be 18 since that’s the minimum age requirement according to Alberta laws. In a way, this will often favor the buyer, as long as he or she is a resident of one of the more weed-friendly provinces.
That said, you should also know that some provinces might also regulate online stores and it’s all subject to change.
For example, in Nova Scotia, you’re technically only allowed to order from any government-run online stores and retail stores, also known as Crown Corporations of Canada (OCS).
In contrast, those in Saskatchewan can order their weed online from private online stores. The provincial government has decided to take a step back and allow private businesses by way of a lottery system.
The first go-round granted dozens of licenses.
This obviously brings into question how willing some online dispensaries are to turn a blind eye. Few if any of them would be willing to ship products out of state if the law in the recipient’s province doesn’t recognize them as an appropriate seller.
Furthermore, the RCMP (Royal Canadian Mounted Police) announced that it will start looking more closely at mail order marijuana transactions, in an attempt to make sure that nothing illegal slipped through the mail.
Regardless of where you are, there are some simple rules to follow when ordering your weed online.
Online Weed Transaction Facts
- Most stores are operated by the government
- The prices may vary a lot
- The RCMP may be monitoring large transactions that exceed the weight limit
- Some inter-territorial transactions may have murky regulations regarding the minimum age requirement
- Not all provinces have the same minimum age requirement
How to Order Weed Online
Most Canadian online weed dispensaries have a simple account registration form that only calls for a date of birth, email address, and password.
It’s easy enough for anyone to fill out except that you may also have to upload your photo ID – for the purpose of age and location verification before fulfilling your order.
ID verification is important because, as previously mentioned, the minimum legal age to purchase weed online or in a retail store differs between provinces and territories.
However, other than adding that information to your account and typing in an address, there’s not much else involved.
If you’ve ever ordered anything from Amazon or eBay, you’ll have no problem navigating a small online weed dispensary website.
You should also know that there may be a minimum order amount in some cases. You may have to spend $50 or more to place an order.
There also some limitations regarding payment options at certain online dispensaries, but that’s usually not a problem if you have a credit card. In any event, be sure to browse a few catalogs before placing an order.
How Much Can You Order and Hold?
There is only one rule regarding possession that you need to keep in mind. You can’t have more than 30 grams of weed on your person when you’re in public.
When it comes to storing weed at home, you’re free to keep as much of that stuff as you like. In light of this, this is another benefit of ordering your weed online.
There aren’t any regulations or limitations on the amount of cannabis that you can order and have shipped to you.
This means that it’s not illegal to order or receive more than 30 grams of weed, as long as your order comes to your doorstep.
Public weed rules
- Never carry more than 30 grams
- Don’t light up a joint just anywhere on the street
- Don’t smoke in your car even if stationary
- Don’t make large orders unless you’re familiar with the legislation in your area and the store’s location
In the event that you’re buying lots of weed online, you may want to make sure that the packaging is discreet and odor-proof.
Not everyone is a proponent of recreational marijuana legalization, so you never know what might happen if a neighbor catches a whiff of your package.
Issues with Buying Weed Online
Not all Canadians are pleased with the disparity between retail stores and online weed dispensaries. For the latter, you have OCS, and many others.
A case in point is that the majority of recreational users crave more opportunities to visit retail stores than sitting at home and browsing different strains of weed online.
One could argue in favor of a certain sense of validation when one enters a brick and mortar weed dispensary. You also get to touch, feel, and smell the products.
Not to mention the luxury of being able to discuss whatever’s on your mind with growers and vendors and pick their brains about the various strains and what to look out for.
While not everyone that works at a weed dispensary has a doctorate in cannabis, you stand to get a little more information in a more interactive and engaging fashion.
There’s also the issue, as mentioned earlier, regarding the government monopoly in the virtual space as seen in most provinces and territories.
Furthermore, you can also look at it this way. If you’re buying groceries, you’re probably going to your local supermarket and you get to inspect all the fruit, the veggies.
Maybe you even smell and push down on the meat through the packaging, inspect the color of the fish, and so on.
Weed is a sensory product too, one that goes in your body and affects you in various ways. Very few things can compare with the aftereffect of smoking some cannabis gone bad.
Even if you’re not an expert, you may still be able to tell if a batch is good or not when you can be close to it, talk to and see the people handling it, and ask the opinion of actual real customers who have more experience than you.
Things Most People Hate About Buying Weed Online
- Limited same-day delivery options
- Not being able to physically inspect the goods
- Many online stores are Crown corporations
- The idea of a government monopoly doesn’t sit well with many proponents of cannabis legalization
- Not always having the option of being able to bypass age limit regulations
What Will be the Resolve?
This question is a bit difficult to answer. You’ll have to go with the future direction of the federal legislation.
So far, buying weed online in most provinces is limited to government-run online dispensaries. Because of this, trust shouldn’t be a big issue when it comes to product quality.
Whether all online transactions will be restricted to government entities in the future remains to be seen.
This is clearly a big cash cow for the Canadian government but it certainly doesn’t help private businesses and investors all that much.
Consider this – having all of the online weed transactions regulated, monitored, and handled by the government wouldn’t be an issue for anyone if it didn’t take the better part of a year to get a license approved for a retail store.
At the end of the day though, variety won’t be an issue in the coming years.
It’s not inconceivable that government-run dispensaries will keep in stock strains that are grown by private growers too, as long they’re of high quality.
Final Thoughts on the Online Weed Industry in Canada
Until edibles show up in retail stores and more private investors receive their licenses for setting up shop, buying weed online is still going to be the easiest way to do it in Canada.
The higher product variety in the online medium, and the ability to bypass age restrictions for the residents of certain provinces, do make online dispensaries like OCS and MJNexpress very appealing.