A Beginner’s Guide to Buying Cannabis in Canada
Canada recently joined Uruguay by legalizing cannabis for recreational purposes. Marijuana has been legal for over a year now. Time flies! Sadly, a lot of people are still confused about the new system. If this is you, don’t worry; you’re certainly not the only one. We have compiled a list of different points that will educate you on buying cannabis in Canada.
After all, Canada is one of just two countries that have officially legalized the recreational use of marijuana. No matter how much this seems like a fantasy, it’s true. Unfortunately, the transition to the new market from the established grey market that was spread across the country before legalization has not been easy.
Buying legal cannabis now means going to a store (online or physical) that is officially sanctioned by your provincial government. Many grey market dispensaries still exist as physical locations, or mail order marijuana websites. One important thing you need to realize is you, as the consumer, are completed safe from any prosecution for buying and using grey market or legal cannabis. Government intervention will never target the consumer, it will be focussed on targeting retailers and wholesalers of grey market cannabis. Knowing this fact can ease your mind, as well as open up possibilities for purchasing.
Who can buy weed in Canada?
Every province has differences. First and foremost, this refers to the age limit. In most provinces, people over the age of 19 can legally purchase, carry, and consume cannabis products. However, in the Alberta province, the age limit is set at 18. Often, this age limit is set equal with the legal age to purchase alcohol in the province. If you are over 19 years ago, this will no longer affect you, but if you’re 18 you should keep this in mind.
All provinces have their websites where you can check the specific laws, so you don’t get into trouble. Even if someone isn’t a Canadian citizen, that person can act under the same set of laws that allow you to purchase and consume cannabis in Canada.
Where can I smoke weed?
Still, as a tourist, you should be extra careful and read the laws of the province you plan on visiting. It’s especially important to look at public consumption laws. For most people, their idea of legalizing weed is to be able to walk down the street smoking a joint. Public consumption of cannabis is still prohibited in some provinces. As a result, regulating cannabis may in some cases restrict it more. If you’re in Vancouver, or most of British Columbia, you can get away with smoking weed pretty much everywhere. Just remember, where you can’t smoke a cigarette, you can’t smoke a joint.
Cannabis products you can buy and carry in Canada
When it comes to products that you can have with you, there are no differences throughout the provinces. At the moment, citizens of eligible age can possess live plants, dried flower, cannabis extracts, tinctures, capsules, and most recently, edibles. You can carry a maximum amount of 30 grams of personal cannabis with you in public, between provincial borders and on domestic flights.
Can I grow cannabis at home?
At home, each reside t can grow up to 4 plants. So, if you live with 4 people, your household limit is 16 plants. This limit is designed to ensure that you are growing for personal use and not to sell. However, it is interesting to note that Manitoba, Quebec, and Nunavut still do not permit home growing. When it comes to buying dried, legal flower from provincially sanctioned sources, your weight choices are usually pre-packaged 1 gram, 3.5 grams, and 7 gram amounts.
Where To Buy Cannabis Products In Canada
Where can I get it?
At the moment, Canada is home to over 100 physical stores in different cities throughout the nation. When it comes to retail stores, the provincial and national governments have worked to open up some legal cannabis stores, but there is not nearly enough to meet with the demand for high quality cannabis. As a result, many weed-seeking Canadians (especially the ones that know where to find good quality cannabis) look to another option to source their cannabis. This avenue is online cannabis stores. They are often referred to as mail order marijuana sites, or MOMS for short.
Are legal stores private sector or government run?
Alberta is a great example of a retail model that includes the private sector. The result is there were 17 stores opened promptly upon legalization, all throughout the province, with many more since. Conversely, Ontario attempted to create a government-run monopoly on stores. They soon realized they could not handle this task after months of no progress, even post-legalization. Next, the provincial government then held a lottery for legal cannabis licenses. It has taken over a year to open 25 stores in Ontario for a 14.5 million person population.
As you can see, there have been many hiccups through legalizing cannabis, but it is to be expected. With far more than 2.5 million Canadian daily users of cannabis, the demand for quality weed at good prices took the government by surprise. When they started trying to maintain massive production facilities for the first time, their untested environments and methods failed time and time again, falling overwhelmingly short of Canadian demand. This is why mail order marijuana sites continue to provide Canadians with their cannabis needs.
The end of the “golden age”
Before legalization, Canada (especially Vancouver and BC) had hundreds of dispensaries, and the good weed was everywhere! It has become fondly known as “the golden age”. When stores closed, most retailers flocked to the online space to keep providing their customers with the quality they were accustomed to. If you want to buy the best weed in Canada, there are still countless options to choose from online!
How do I start?
The process is quite simple. Do some research. Find some online cannabis sites with a simple Google search and compare some different options. Once you have narrowed it down, the process is the same as ordering from a site like Amazon. You will have to create an account on the site and verify personal information like your age and mailing address. After you’ve done that, you will be able to place orders for delivery or mail order.
Legal sites that carry licensed product will be more expensive with extra packaging and inferior product. But, on those sites, you can use a credit card to purchase. For mail order sites that use the postal service, you will usually be required to send an email money transfer. If you’re ordering from a local delivery site, its either an email money transfer or cash.
Buying Cannabis In Legal Stores
If you like a more personal approach, then go directly to a local legal cannabis store. Find the store online, and call first to make sure they’re open for business, and check their open hours. Walk in just like you would at any liquor store. You will be asked to show your ID at the checkout before you can exit the premises with cannabis products.
How to find quality cannabis products
Even though cannabis products are legal in Canada, it doesn’t mean that they are all top-quality. You still need to know to recognize high-quality weed. Not all shops are reliable, and just like with any product, there are things to look out for. Here are some of them:
Research The Supplier
If you are buying from a reliable website or legal store, see what brand is producing the product you are interested in. If the brand is established, you have better chances of receiving quality product. Make sure to check all the contact information about a company. Shops that offer transparency by giving out relevant information like testing information, production details, and brand details are much easier to trust.
Research The History Of The Website
If you can find information about how long a shop has been around, that can say a lot. This can especially be useful if buying online. If the shop has been around before the legalization, it means that they are reliable and offer good products.
Browse The Selection
When you browse products online, make sure the photos displayed are original photos of the product. Often a legitimate online store will have watermarked imaged showing their originality of their photos. Next, make sure you read the product descriptions. You want to know if the people you are buying from know their product. Look for spelling and grammar errors, as this can indicate no attention to detail from your retailers. This could also be true of their other practices.
Cannabis strains rich with CBD
CBD oil has become popular in the past couple of years. However, the process of growing CBD-rich cannabis is different. CBD oils are usually extracted out of industrial farmed hemp, which is cannabis with less than 1% THC. Most reputable mail order marijuana sites and all legal stores will always provide CBD options.
Look for organically grown products
A huge difference between good and bad weed is that often quality products are organically grown. Some less ethical producers of cannabis use chemical sprays to keep pests away from their cannabis plants to ensure they have the highest yield possible, leading to the highest payout. If the cannabis plant is exposed to dangerous metals and pesticides during its growth, it will carry those substances through to its crop. Organic producers use other harmless insects as predators to the ones that can damage the plant, making sure that no unsafe substance is exposed to the growing plants.
No matter where you might plan on buying cannabis products in Canada, make sure to read up on local laws. Even though legalization has been finalized, there are still many people opposed to this act. Still, this is a great benchmark, and hopefully, other large countries will follow in Canada’s footsteps.