Everything You Need To Know About Buying Cannabis Online
In the middle of winter, the only chill you want to experience is in your mood. Ordering cannabis online can get you there—and save you from the cold. So, how exactly does it work?
First things first: is it legal to buy cannabis online?
Short answer: yes.
In most of the country, buying cannabis online can only be done through a Government Provincial Retailer. Every province has its own regulatory body, and, under Canada’s Cannabis Control Act, they have the authority to sell cannabis online and deliver it via Canada Post right to your front door. The process isn’t that much different than most other online shopping experiences; it can be incredibly convenient, and, depending on where you live and what you’re ordering, incredibly quick, too.
Who can sell cannabis online?
If you Google “online cannabis stores in Canada” you’ll find that there are countless other websites offering to sell and deliver cannabis products to you. In most provinces, if they aren’t a Government Provincial Retailer, it’s illegal for them to do so—and illegal for you to purchase.
Some of these illicit websites can appear pretty legitimate, so here’s a list of all the official Government Provincial Retailers in Canada. As long as you’re purchasing from one of these places—and as long as you live in the province where you’re making the purchase (more on that later)—you’re good to go. Happy shopping.
Canada’s Government Provincial Retailers
Other Provincial Retailers
As is always the way, there are some exceptions to the rule. In Saskatchewan, Manitoba, and Nunavut, provincially licensed cannabis retailers and authorized agents operate their own online stores. Here’s another cheat sheet to help you keep track.
What can I buy from a provincial store?
Each store offers a unique selection of curated strains and formats. You can shop by brand, varietal, potency, and select your preferred format, whether it’s a pre-roll, capsule, oil, or flower itself. Many provincial stores also offer accessories like papers and filters, vaporizers, grinders, infusers, and a range of other products for your cannabis needs.
Depending on the province and its current regulations, however, your selection of strains, formats and products may be limited. In the Northwest Territories, for example, you can only purchase dried flower from a single producer via their online platform. It’s also important to remember that taxes, shipping costs, and even shipping times will vary from province to province. Just like your holiday shopping, you’d better get an early start.
How much can I order?
There is a limit of 30g of cannabis per order, which is the same as the possession limit across the country.
Can I order cannabis from another province?
Sadly, if you don’t find what you’re looking in your provincial store, you won’t be able to order it from another province: Government Provincial Retailers can only sell and ship cannabis to customers within their own province or territory. There is one exception: if you’re registered with Health Canada as a medical cannabis patient—in that case, you can order your cannabis online directly from any producer in any province.
Safety of ordering cannabis online
Sure—as long as you’re using a Government Provincial Retailer (or provincially licensed retailer if you’re in Manitoba, Saskatchewan, or Nunavut). Canada Post has even developed guidelines for the shipping of cannabis products. These specialized transportation standards ensure that your package is safely and discreetly delivered.
And what about all the fuss around travelling to the United States? While there was a lot of chatter about border agents refusing entry to folks whose credit card data showed they had purchased cannabis online, those anxieties have proven to be largely unfounded.
What do I need? (ID, prescription)
The most important thing is to be at home. Canada Post can’t leave your cannabis order sitting on the front step like they can with your latest pair of cropped jeans or IKEA dresser. Another caveat: you can’t have a friend or family member accept the shipment for you—it has to be you. But if ever there was a season to be at home, isn’t this it? Have you seen it outside?
You must also be able to prove that you’ve reached the age where it’s legal to buy cannabis in that particular province, which means a piece of government ID with your birthdate.
Is there a way I can make the online cannabis experience even better?
In the absence of being able to smell and touch the cannabis you’re purchasing, you can lean on our intent system to find the strains and flavours that match your mood.
Websites like Leafly and Lift position themselves as the “TripAdvisors” of the cannabis world, collecting and aggregating user reviews to help you find the best strain recommendations. You can post your own reviews, too, and share your experiences with others (Lift even has a points system that allows you to earn discounts and other perks for writing reviews).
It’s cold outside, and the streets and sidewalks are crammed with holiday shoppers. Keep the holidays cozy, and keep your stash stocked right from your own home. It’s quick, convenient, discreet, and arrives right at your front door—give yourself the gift of convenience this year.