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Many people would opt to order weed online, if only they understood the process better. The thing is, it’s much easier to take out your phone or laptop, browse through a wide catalog of cannabis products, press a few “OKs” and voila, the delivery man is at your door. How much simpler could this get? But somehow, a big chunk of Canadians are still apprehensive about ordering weed online. This article demystifies the process and answers pertinent questions on this issue.
Of course, it also gives a few good suggestions on where to place your orders online. Spoiler alert: BudExpressNow is one of Canada’s largest online dispensaries that offer a wide selection of cannabis products. It doesn’t compare to the top dispensary in Canada, with over 40,000 customers MJN Express.
Towards the end of 2018, Canada joined Uruguay to become the second nation to legalize recreational marijuana. A year down the line and the weed market is yet to be streamlined. Variations in laws across provinces are a factor that’s contributing to the mess.
In some provinces, the legal age for using recreational cannabis is 18 while in some it is 19. Laws on home grow also vary across provinces with Quebec not allowing home grow at all and Manitoba only allowing home grow for medicinal use. Provinces also set rules on how cannabis can be promoted, packaged, or advertised.
Where you can legally buy recreational weed from also varies across the provinces. This is a function that is greatly controlled by the provincial governments so as to squash the black-market and prevent the proceeds from sales being channeled to fund illegal activities. However, many private businesses in the cannabis sector in Canada feel shortchanged by these restrictive laws, but this is a different matter altogether. First things first, what are the laws governing the online sale of weed in Canada.
Here’s a video summary
2.0 Is It Legal To Buy Weed Online In Canada?
The Cannabis Act allows adults to buy, consume, and use cannabis for recreational purposes. However, the provinces have put some restrictions on the channels through which legal weed can be sold online. This is not an entirely new concept in Canada as the government largely controls the sale and distribution of liquor through different provincial liquor control boards. It is also not a bad idea as this helps to bring a level of standardization and quality control.
For the most part, provinces have a stake in the distribution of recreational cannabis products to retail outlets. Cannabis producers’ supply directly to provincial governments who then either sell to consumers directly or supply to retailers.
As long as rules set by each province are abided by, it is legal to buy weed online from any corner of Canada.
3.0 Reasons To Order Weed Online In Canada
3.1 Transparency and High Quality Products
Online stores are visible and therefore open to public scrutiny. Being put “on-the-spot” minimizes the chances of online businesses selling substandard products.
Online businesses rely on transparency, efficient delivery services, and good customer reviews to grow their companies. Unlike walk-in shops where you are highly unlikely to come into contact with the next customer, the online market flows seamlessly allowing customers and potential customers to connect.
For example, online cannabis businesses would be expected to post their independent third-party test results online for customers to verify claims made on purity and potency. With a skilled eye, a potential customer can infer a lot and make an objective judgment about an online vendor just by perusing through the online platform.
Given, not all online businesses selling cannabis are legitimate. So here are a few key things to look for:
- The product catalog
- Brands on offer and their reputation
- Customer reviews
- Shipping policy
- Refunds and exchanges
- Weed education
- Payment options
- All legal products
You should also ensure that the company selling weed online is registered and licensed to engage in that business in Canada.
3.2 Buying Weed Online Is More Convenient
Once you get the hang of it you will discover how easy and convenient it is to buy weed online. All it takes is a phone or tablet, internet connection and a few minutes to spare. If you live far from cannabis dispensary or store front, ordering weed online will save you time and money.
3.3 Buying Weed Online offers discretion
Cannabis supporters have done a lot to try and destigmatize weed. Unfortunately, there is still a long way to go with this since many factions still hold the same derogatory opinion of weed. Some social groups will not allow one to openly admit that they just had a blunt or two. In such a case or for whatever else reason ensuring privacy while toking is of the essence.
Buying weed online allows one to be discreet about this. Most companies selling weed online will package the product without overt betrayal of what is conveyed in the package; no cannabis labels whatsoever. Most of such companies will also allow for anonymous payment options such as the use of bitcoin to further ensure privacy.
3.4 Buying Weed Online Is Cheaper
Buying weed online is cheaper for one major reason; online shops have little overhead costs to incur. For example looking at online shops such as BudExpressNow, you will notice that they always have numerous sales and discounted items. The only fixed cost that has to be factored into the product price is website maintenance costs which can be negligible. Labor costs are significantly reduced as well. This gives online cannabis shops a competitive advantage over brick and mortar stores. When you factor in that you are also saving on gas and time because they deliver to your doorstep, this deal becomes a resounding bargain.
3.5 A Greater Diversity Of Products
Weed storefronts are limited by physical space while online shops are not. Hundreds or even thousands of items can be featured on a website comfortably, but this hardly applies to store fronts.
It is also much easier to navigate through different categories of products on a website comparing prices for quality. On the other hand, walking from aisle to aisle of a physical store can be time-consuming and tiring.
Due to these factors, it is easier for online weed shops to stock a much wider variety of cannabis products.
4.0 Where can I buy weed online in Canada?
You can order weed online from all the 10 provinces and 3 territories in Canada. Each province sells weed through online government websites or licensed private retailers. There are numerous licensed online cannabis dispensaries offering mail-order cannabis.
Online sale of recreational cannabis is more restrictive with most online cannabis stores being government-run. Here is a breakdown of how online sales of cannabis are run in each province:
Online sales restricted to the government through Alberta Cannabis
Online sales restricted to the government through the B.C. Liquor Distribution Branch website.
Online sales are run by both the government and private retailers.
Online sales restricted to the government through the Cannabis-NB
Newfoundland and Labrador
Online sales are restricted to the government through CannabisNL
Online sales restricted to the government through Nova Scotia Liquor Corporation (NSLC)
Online sales restricted to the government through the Ontario Cannabis Store
Prince Edward Island
Online sales restricted through PEI Cannabis Corp.
Online sales restricted to the government through the Société québécoise du cannabis (SQDC).
Online sales are run by both the government and licensed private retailers who must have a physical storefront.
Online sales are restricted to the government website
Online sales are restricted to the government through Nunavut Liquor & Cannabis Commission
Online sales restricted to the government through Cannabis Yukon
Privately Run Online Weed Stores, Order Weed Online
There is a good number of privately run online cannabis businesses which are licensed and therefore legal. Below, we shall look at how to order from one government-run and one privately owned online cannabis store. The process of ordering from these stores is more or less the same; you just need to ensure that the private business is operating within the law in its jurisdiction.
5.0 How To Order Weed Online From Ontario Cannabis Store (OCS)
Towards the close of 2017 as Canada was gearing up for legalization, the Ontario government announced that the liquor control board of Ontario (LCBO) would be the sole vendor of recreational marijuana in that province. The OCS was later established as a subsidiary of LCBO to handle cannabis sales in the province. OCS formed a partnership with Shopify to run the province’s online cannabis store.
The Ontario Cannabis Store is Ontario’s only online cannabis seller of legal recreational cannabis in Ontario. OCS lays emphasis on customer education, privacy, and efficiency.
5.1 Here is how to order from OCS:
Online shopping for cannabis is pretty basic if you have an idea of what you are looking for. Say you need to order some indica dominant dried flower from OCS, this is what you do:
1. The first thing you do is type what you are looking for in the right hand corner of their website.
You will see the different search options to select from.
2. Select the product that you like and the quantity you want to order.
3. Add to your cart. You can do the same for any other product that you want.
4. Proceed to checkout. If this is your first time to shop at OCS you will be prompted to create an account which will include your shipping address and payment details. You can opt not to create an account but just add your billing and shipping information instead.
5. Proceed to pay and then wait for 1-3 business days to have your package shipped to you through Canada Post Xpress. People living in the rural outskirts may have to give it a maximum of 10 days.
5.2 Can You Find Weed Online From LCBO Product Search
The OCS is no longer a subsidiary of the LCBO, so this is not possible. The OCS is now a subsidiary of the Ministry of Finance. The LCBO product search will only produce liquor, wines, and other alcoholic beverages. In other provinces such as Nova Scotia where cannabis sales are still under the Liquor Corporation, this may be possible.
6.0 How To Order Weed Online From BudExpressNow
BudExpressNow is based out of Vancouver, British Columbia. BudExpressNow sells marijuana products online to Canadians who have attained the marijuana legal age or alternatively those who have a medical marijuana license.
Bud Express Now offers privacy and security for all online orders. They also offer discreet packaging that is smell proof and sealed in regular Xpress Post envelopes.
6.1 This is how to order fromBudExpressNow:
1. The first step is to browse through the product catalog of Bud Express Now. Once you are on the website you will find a list of categories to choose from.
2. You can select as many products as you want and add to your cart.
3. Proceed to check out once you are done with shopping. If it’s your first time shopping at BudExpressNow you will be prompted to open an account. Enter name, email, address, password & complete order. Payment is through Interac.
3. Wait for your order to be shipped to you. This typically takes 2-3 days.
Conclusion: Are There Any Risks To Buying Weed Online?
As long as the vendor is trustworthy and verified you should have nothing to worry about. Reputable online cannabis sellers have an obligation to protect customer privacy at all costs. They equally have an obligation to ensure that the product arrives at your doorstep without being tampered with. You should first check the refund policy and money-back guarantee before committing to buy from any online cannabis dispensary.
1. Ontario Cannabis Store website. Retrieved from https://ocs.ca/
3. Government of Canada website. Retrieved from https://www.canada.ca/en/services/health/campaigns/cannabis/canadians.html
4. Government of Canada website. Retrieved from https://www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/services/drugs-medication/cannabis/laws-regulations/provinces-territories.html
5. Wikipedia: Cannabis in Canada. Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cannabis_in_Canada
6. Quora: What’s the real reason why the Canadian government legalized weed? Retrieved from https://theconversation.com/whats-the-real-reason-the-canadian-government-legalized-weed-105699
An expert in Cannabis education, as well as depression and anxiety. Studied at the University of Oxford and continues to push her career as a writer in emerging subjects of Cannabis.