Currently in Canada the federal government sets all policy related to the production of cannabis and cannabis products including what formulations can be sold, what packaging can be used, sizing, potency and how they can be advertised. This applies to retail fronts, mail order marijuana and online dispensaries in Canada.
Like alcohol and tobacco, provinces are to dictate age, where cannabis can be consumed and provide regulations to those buying in store fronts as well as buying marijuana online. Policy must be cohesive and coherent at all levels of government to ensure the black or legacy market is marginalized if not eliminated altogether in the long run.
The illicit market on any front is a fierce competitor and has served the black market well in the past whether people were buying weed in Canada from the guy on the street corner or through an anonymous mail order marijuana service. History has proven these are viable markets and competes well even the age of ordering weed online. All levels of government need to be aligned otherwise this enterprise will fail and will leave all those relying on store fronts and online dispensaries in Canada in a predicament and scrambling to fulfill their needs.
On average, a gram of illicit weed sold by the street corner dealer is about $8.00 whereas legal cannabis you buy from a store front proprietor or from an online marijuana dispensary costs much more given government taxes and the costs of doing business within the law. Even if one was to try and buy cheap weed online, those who count their pennies may find the cost of legal weed very much a hurdle in preventing one from using a government sanctioned distributor.
For someone who has been using a black market dealer for 10 to 20 years and has always gotten good prices, getting them to switch to legal source would be difficult unless they are able to buy cheap weed online from an online dispensary in Canada who is able to provide consistent quality. Using a legal online marijuana dispensary provides some assurances as to quality given the price point and legal obligations. Quality control is not top of mind with an illegal drug dealer, however, government sanctioned enterprises do have policies and procedures in place to protect the consumer buying at the store or buying their edibles, shatter or cannabis online.
Going forward, education, not prohibition, is the best way to ensure people who buy weed in Canada use any it responsibly. Legal store fronts and proper online dispensaries in Canada are required by law to abide by age restrictions which can range in from 18 in Alberta to 21 years in Quebec. Those wishing to buy weed online in Canada can circumvent this requirement if they are less than truthful when ordering or can seek out illegal sellers or use a mail order marijuana service in an attempt to hide their age, however, one must be mindful that the motivation here is to protect and reduce harm to young people while their minds and bodies are still in the development stage.
We have come a long way in a short period of time when it comes to buying weed in Canada. Illegal enterprises will always exist, however, the ability to order weed online from online dispensaries in Canada is a good start to ensuring quality, in reducing crime and in providing education, however, it is evident we still have a long way to go.