On October 2018, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was true to his promise of decriminalizing marijuana for recreational use in Canada. After this historical announcement, you’ve probably seen a surge of online dispensaries popping up everywhere like wild mushrooms. While the use of weed has been legalized, you should know that it’s still a controlled substance and each province has its own rules for how it can be lawfully consumed. Here are five tips to keep in mind when buying from an online dispensary in Canada.
Make Sure They’re Reputable
Since its legalization, a number of online dispensaries have started to emerge, which makes it challenging for someone without any experience in knowing which online shop is reputable. Reports of online dispensaries selling low-quality products at a premium price continue to abound. Here some ways how you can determine you’re buying from a reputable source:
- Professional website – A professional-looking site is a good indicator of someone who’s reputable. For instance, WeedSmart offers not just a professional-looking website but a comprehensive About Us page that discusses the different types of marijuana strains.
- Clear contact details – The website’s contact details should also be available and easy to find. A company that’s not hiding anything will not make it hard for their customers to contact them. Social media links on their site is also a good indication of credibility.
- Proof of testing – Reputable websites will have evidence that their products have been tested and are free from harmful chemicals like pesticides. Asking for these test results should be easy.
Make Sure They Have Provincial Authority
As mentioned, each Canadian province has its own set of laws when it comes to selling marijuana, which gives them authority to regulate the sale. You need to ensure that the website you’re buying from complies with the rules and regulations set by their provincial government. For instance, in Quebec, the legal age for marijuana use is 21, while in Ontario, the legal age is as low as 18 years old.
A website that has provincial authority will also prove their reputation, which guarantees customers that they’re not dealing with fraudsters.
Review Their Product Selection
You know you’re dealing with an excellent online dispensary when they have a rich product line. It’s also more convenient and more comfortable for you to have the option of buying everything in one go. The following are the most sought-after online dispensary products:
- Cannabis flower
- Cannabis concentrates
- CBD products
- Vape and accessories
Make it a point to read each product description to find out the Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and Cannabidiol (CBD) levels of the product. Take time to review the side effects and the product’s intended use. Most product descriptions are written with beginners in mind, so understanding them will be easier.
Look For Customer Reviews
Customer reviews are testimonials from those who have bought and experienced the product or service delivered by the website. On average, a consumer will read around seven customer reviews before making a decision. As an online buyer, you don’t have the luxury of smelling and touching the cannabis, so the next best thing you can rely on are testimonials. Look for social proof that the business can indeed deliver their promise of selling a high-quality product. However, be careful of biased reviews. If you notice that most of the online reviews are positive, it’s probably too good to be true.
An online dispensary with no customer reviews or any type of product rating available should definitely raise a red flag, and it would be best to do your shopping elsewhere.
Ask For Their Delivery Procedure
Buying online will likely mean that you have to wait a couple of days before receiving the package. This is a lot different when you’re buying from a retail store where the product is on hand. It’s therefore vital to know a website’s delivery process and how orders are packaged. Fortunately, Canada has a strict policy on marijuana handling and delivery that even Canada Post has its own set of instructions for handling these kinds of products.
Read through the website’s FAQs to find out how products are packaged and how fast their delivery lead time is. Most online dispensaries ship the next day, while others can ship on the same day. Immediate delivery also contributes to the freshness of the items you will receive. For instance, some online dispensaries use Boveda packs to prolong freshness. Additionally, some customers prefer that their orders are delivered in discreet packaging to avoid unwanted attention. Check to see if they offer this option.
The cannabis market is still growing, and as time goes by, more policies and regulations will be imposed on online dispensaries. Always look for a reputable and trusted online store. You don’t want to be on the other side of the law just because you didn’t do your due diligence. A good online dispensary is authorized by the province, has an extensive product selection, and excellent customer support.