Now that weed is legal, we wanted to know what it's really like to buy cannabis online. The Ontario Cannabis Store (OCS) is the province's one and only legal place to buy marijuana until April 2019 when physical retail stores are expected to open.
Until then Ontarians are stuck online, so we figured it would be in everyone's best interest to see what that online process really looks like. In doing so, we learned some very concerning things.
When you go to the OCS site, the very first thing it asks you to do is to enter your birthdate to confirm that you are at least 19 years old, which is the legal age for consuming cannabis in Canada. After that, you simply check a box confirming that it's your legal age and you get access to the site.
This is the only way the OCS checks customers' ages before they purchase, meaning they don't actually verify any IDs or have a screening process to find underage shoppers until the Canada Post mail carriers ask for ID at the time of delivery.
Once you've cleared that first hurdle, the OCS site looks like any other online retailer. You can look at two different categories online: cannabis products, which includes dried flowers, oils, and pre-rolled joints, and accessories like grinders and rolling paper.
Like anyone who shops online regularly would be familiar with, you can also sort the products listed by different factors like price low to high and vice versa, as well as THC and CBD contents.
Then it came time to actually buy products. In Ontario, you are allowed to buy up to 30 grams of weed at one time, which is also the biggest quantity you are allowed to possess. What's handy about the OCS site is it actually keeps track of how many grams out of 30 you have as you shop.
Being budget friendly, we wanted to see what our cheapest options for legal cannabis are. Two brands stick out as being "budget" weed. The cheapest dried-flower product on the site is from a producer called LIIV and it retails for $7.95/gram in Ontario.
The next cheapest is from the producer Redecan, and they're products retail from $8.40-$10.05/gram. However, your chances of actually getting either of those cheaper projects are getting increasingly slim.
As you can see, some of the sizes, particularly the bigger ones, of some products from both of those brands are already out of stock, indicating that Ontarians are eager to get their hands on the lower-cost cannabis.
The most popular product so far seems to be Redecan's Cold Creek Kush, which is branded as a high THC weed with a dank flavour, meaning it can get you super high, is now completely sold out.
Another concerning thing we learned besides the increasingly low stock of the products is the prices themselves. After filling our cart with exactly 30 grams of the cheapest weed products, our grand total before shipping was $290, much higher than prices you could have seen at dispensaries or street dealers.
That high total is also before buying any accessories you would need to go with your dried products, like rolling papers and grinders, especially if you're a first-time buyer who doesn't have any of those items. The store actually recommends the items at the bottom of the pages when you are shopping.
To complete your purchase you have to once again check a box saying you are 19 and then fill out your address and contact information, choose your shipping method even though there's only one option, and finally pay for your purchase using either a Visa, Mastercard, or American Express.
Browsing around the site a bit more we did find what we thought would be good news. If for whatever reason you order something that you decide you don't want you can return it, unopened within 14 days. If you look closer at the return policy, it gets really concerning though.
Even though you can return your unopened product through the mail, the government will charge you a $10 return fee, so say you wanted to return one gram of the $10.05 weed, you would end up only get 5 cents back.
Nonetheless, these issues haven't slowed down enthusiastic Ontarians who have already purchased legal weed from the OCS. Earlier this morning Doug Ford made said that apparently, 38000 Ontarians had already bought cannabis from the website.
The Ontario Cannabis Store has had 38,000 orders since the site went live at midnight, Premier Doug Ford says.— CP24 (@CP24) 17 October 2018
People who purchase weed from the website will now be waiting on delivery by Canada Post, which originally said it would take 1-3 days, however, the OCS also warned customers that delivery could take longer due to a high volume of early orders. Beyond that, a Canada Post strike looming on the horizon could throw Ontario's legal weed system completely out of whack.
More from the Canadian Cannabis Legalization series:
- A Neighbourhood In Toronto Just Completely Banned Smoking Marijuana In Public
- Canada Post Workers Are Prepared To Strike On Monday And Now People Are Freaking Out About Not Getting Their Weed
- The Toronto Neighbourhood With The Most Pot Smokers Was Just Revealed And It's Not At All Where You Thought It Would Be
- This Is What You Need To Know For Marijuana Use By Province In Canada After October 17th
- The Canadian Province With The Most Pot Smokers Was Just Revealed And It's Not At All Who You Thought It Would Be