There are several ways to purchase Cannabis in Canada. Currently, you can purchase Cannabis from the existing Licensed Producers (LP’s) with a prescription, from a dispensary or retail store, online through independent retailers and from traditional methods like the black market -at your own risk.
LP’s are government regulated producers in Canada who provide medical quality Cannabis to individuals with a valid prescription. Currently, the product is purchased online and is delivered to the patient. The medical program will not change with legalization later this summer, except for some physical locations in the provinces and territories that allow private retailers.
Technically speaking a dispensary is a storefront operation, selling Cannabis to customers who have a proven medical condition. Until later this summer, dispensaries are and will remain illegal. Once recreational Cannabis is legal in Canada, dispensaries will be allowed to operate in the provinces and territories that allow private retailers.
Going into the store allows customers to see the Cannabis in person, making it easier to compare the quality of the products. It also allows the customer the ability to talk to the people behind the counter, which is ideal for those individuals who are new to Cannabis and need guidance.
It is getting much easier to find storefront locations, particularly in bigger cities. Weedmaps can help you find medical and recreational Marijuana dispensaries, brands, deliveries, deals and doctors near you. Both Leafly and Lift also have business directories, which are Canada specific.
The main advantage to purchasing Cannabis online is there is often a greater selection of products then what you would get from the current LP’s or off the black market. Another reason some choose to purchase online is its convenience, particularly if you are not able to travel.
A major disadvantage is that there is a lot of fraud online, with little to no option for resolution. If you do purchase from an online source, consider these tips: always purchase from a reputable company, understand what you’re purchasing, find out if the product was tested and what the results are.
The average cost of dried Cannabis is approximately $8.50 per gram and the price for an ounce (28 grams) varies across the country but averages $200 CAN. This is a lot less than the average cost of dried Cannabis in the USA, which is closer to $300 US. Factors affecting the price are product quality and the availability or legality. The final factor affecting the price is the quantity purchased; the more you buy the less it will cost with some retailers.
Understand the legal requirements that apply to you, such as possession and transportation regulations. If you are an authorized medical user your doctor will prescribe a limit, which would be the maximum amount you can possess. Once Cannabis has become legal later this summer, recreational users will be allowed to possess up to 30 grams at one time, Canada wide. Never drive under the influence. The government recommends you wait 4 hours before driving or operating heavy machinery, as with any medication or psychoactive product.
The goal is to attain safe, high-quality Cannabis whenever possible. Use common sense when purchasing through un-regulated sources, make no assumptions as a consumer. Know what you’re buying and where you are getting it from for the most desirable experience!