TORONTO — When recreational cannabis is legalized on Oct. 17, the only legal retailer in Ontario will be the government-run Ontario Cannabis Store through its online website OCS.ca.
The site will be up and running at 12:01 a.m. ET on Wednesday, and consumers will be able access it from computers and mobile devices. The products offered for sale will include dried flower, oils, capsules, pre-rolled joints and accessories, but no seeds for the time being. The government has not released a list of prices, but said they would be competitive to compete with the illicit market.
Here's a primer on how to purchase marijuana online:
— Shoppers will be asked to enter their full birth date and then confirm their age. Only those who confirm they are 19 years of age or older will be able to access the site. No proof of age will be required.
— Shoppers will have the option to check out educational resources if they want to learn about cannabis, including the plant's anatomy, facts about consumption and how to choose cannabis products. The information is already available on the newly launched website OCSlearn.ca.
— Shoppers will then be able to choose from cannabis products including dried flower — there will be 70 strains at first, with that number expected to eventually reach 150 — oils and capsules, pre-rolled joints as well as accessories like vapourizers, rolling papers and trays.
— Each product listing information will include the brand and licensed producer, a description, price (including taxes), percentage of THC and CBD, plant type and terpenes, which are fragrant oils found in plants which produce a unique taste and smell.
— Shoppers will not be able to buy more than 30 grams of cannabis at one time, in line with the maximum amount allowed for one person to carry in public under law. However, they will be able to place several online orders.
— Only VISA or MasterCard will be accepted for online purchases, but OCS officials say they will look at adding other payment options in the future. It is not known how the purchase will appear on the credit card statements, but OCS officials have said the word "cannabis" won't be included.
— When checking out, customers will be required to confirm that they are 19 years of age or older, again.
— Deliveries will be made to Ontario addresses only by Canada Post at a flat rate of $5, and will take between one to three business days.
— Purchases from the OCS will be in plain packaging and delivered only to anyone who answers the door and is 19 or older. As with other products that require age verification, if the person accepting the package looks under the age of 25, identification will be required. When no one is available, the package will be sent back to the nearest post office. For those who live in condominiums, however, a concierge will not be able to accept the package.
SOURCE: Ontario Cannabis Store