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How to Shop for Cannabis in Canada: Best Traveller’s Guide 

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With the legalization of recreational use of cannabis in Canada in October 2018, the country became a tourist hub for marijuana enthusiasts. More and more people are now visiting Canada with the hope of enjoying some of the best recreational marijuana products on the market.

If you are a visitor or are planning to visit this country soon, you must be wondering how you can acquire your favorite strain, and what are the laws governing its use. Well, this piece covers everything you need to know. 

What is the Legal Age for Cannabis Use?

The first thing you must know is the legal age of buying marijuana products in the country. Although it may vary in some provinces like Alberta and Québec, which have an age limit of 18 years, most of the country requires you to be at least 19 years old. 

You must be of legal age, whether your herb approach is done online or physically at a brick-and-mortar outlet. Whichever the case, your government-issued ID is required.

Can You Enjoy Your Smoke Anywhere? 

Although anyone can acquire cannabis products from anywhere in the country through an online dispensary Canada-wise, it might not be legal to use them everywhere. There are laws regulating the use of recreational cannabis throughout the country.

So, if you are wondering which places are legal to enjoy your smoke, you have limited options based on the province you are in. Different provinces have different regulations on where and how to use your cannabis products. 

But, even with the variations in regulations, most of these provinces forbid marijuana use in:

  • A vehicle
  • Schools
  • Hospital facilities
  • Cramped public spaces like offices and waiting lobbies

Where Can You Buy Cannabis Products? 

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While Bill C-45, the Cannabis Act enacted by the federal government legalized cannabis use nationwide, its distribution and regulation were placed in the hands of the provinces. So, before you purchase legal cannabis, checking out the specific province’s regulations regarding buying and storing the product is vital.

Every province in Canada has its specific website, where you can get details regarding any cannabis regulations and places where you can purchase these products. This means that depending on where you are, you’ll have access to various retail outlets, as well as be subjected to different regulations. 

However, before you go shopping, make sure that you learn about the rules governing the purchase, use, or storage of cannabis in that specific state.

1. Legal Online Stores

Online stores are the most flexible places for visitors to buy cannabis products. Whether you are looking for medical or recreational products, these online dispensaries in Canada have everything you need.

The online stores are either run by the provincial government or by privately owned firms. And depending on where you are, you’ll have different options for acquiring your product. If you are visiting Ontario for instance, you can try out the Ontario Cannabis Store (OCS) which is the only legitimate online site in the province, selling legal recreational marijuana. 

In most of the other provinces, however, ordering cannabis online is much easier. This is because they also allow private online dispensaries to operate. This means that, whether you want to order through the specific province’s official site and have a herbapproach experience, or other similar sites, the choice is entirely yours.

Age verification is, however, a prerequisite before you can make your cannabis purchase. You must also provide your ID for verification before the product is processed, and once your product is delivered to you.

2. Legal Brick-and-Mortar Outlets

Apart from online dispensaries, you can also get your favorite strain from several brick-and-mortar outlets that shelve marijuana products. The stores are also owned by private firms or by the provincial government, based on the specific region. 

However, just like in the online stores, you must provide your government ID before purchasing any product from these stores. Anyone under the set age limit cannot purchase cannabis from the physical stores.

3. Illegal MOMs (Mail Order Marijuana) 

Even with the numerous online sites and dispensaries selling legal cannabis, there are still many other unregistered sites that also offer the same services. These unregistered sites are what we are referring to as the illegal MOMs, and there are quite a few of them.

They are mostly online sites that many people will visit and make purchases without even realizing that they are not legal. The disadvantage with these sites is that you can never be certain of the product’s quality, unlike the legal websites. 

And don’t be fooled; despite these MOMs being unregistered, they will still require you to provide a scan or a copy of your ID to verify your age. 

4. Illegal Dispensaries

Although illegal, these dispensaries are available in various major cities in Canada. They are mainly illegal storefronts where attendants, also known as “budtenders,” assist customers in choosing their desired product or strain. Most of these dispensaries will also require you to have an ID before you can enter to help verify your age. 

If you are a first-timer, some stores will either ask you to complete a questionnaire or get checked by a doctor, to have a clear picture of your health. This helps them to grant you membership to these dispensaries.

In some cases, you might also be required to pay some membership fees, after which your information is filled, and you become a member. One thing to note though is that despite all these initial formalities, these outlets are not operating legally. 

What is the Legal Cannabis Amount You Can Hold or Buy?

Different provinces have various marijuana laws, with the only common thing being the type of cannabis products you can possess. The legal ceiling for the amount of cannabis you can possess, share, or carry in Canada is 30 grams by dry weight. You can also hold an equivalent of the same in other non-dry forms of cannabis.

During the first year of legalization, the only allowed cannabis categories included oils, both dried and fresh leaves, homegrown plants, or pre-rolled joints.

But, with that period ending on October 17, 2019, you can now enjoy more products, including edibles, concentrates, beverages, vape pens, and oral sprays, with a higher THC limit.

Key Takeaway

Canada has become one of the few countries where recreational cannabis is legal, and both locals and visitors can enjoy a taste of it. Buying cannabis in the country has also become considerably easy. However, with all the online websites and stores, one needs to be sure that they are using a legitimate and registered site, to guarantee quality.

More on this topic:

The Best Cannabis Apps 2019 You Should Know


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