Buying cannabis without being physically present
The cannabis industry is rapidly evolving. In many countries, accessing cannabis is fast becoming a quick and easy process. Nowadays, all consumers need in order to purchase the substance is an internet-capable device with an active connection. Specifically, cannabis can now be ordered online via websites that are known as online dispensaries.
Online dispensaries are cannabis dispensaries that operate on the internet. These dispensaries are only similar to ‘brick and mortar’ stores in the sense that they sell marijuana products. Many online dispensaries are regulated by the state in which they are situated in.
At these dispensaries, consumers are expected to find wide varieties of cannabis products such as:
- Cannabis flower/buds;
- Cannabis oils;
- Rolling papers;
- Ash trays and more.
Online dispensaries can cater to both medical patients and recreational cannabis consumers.
How do online dispensaries work?
The online cannabis purchasing process is similar to regular E-commerce activity: selection and payment for a product which is then delivered to a choice location. In certain cases – especially with medical dispensaries – patients are required to register with the dispensary and provide their medical marijuana licenses. These licenses allow them access marijuana and are exceedingly prevalent in jurisdictions where cannabis is illegal for recreational use. Some recreational dispensaries require registration and identification in order to ensure that their consumers are not underage.
A delivery package of marijuana products. Source
Can you get cannabis delivered like pizza?
Ideally, there is a stipulated delivery period between ordering marijuana and its delivery. Many times, this stipulated delivery period could range anywhere from 24 to 48 hours. If the individual’s expectation is that the parcel will be delivered within the hour – like with pizza – then you can expect it to fall short.
Many online dispensaries utilize private couriers instead of the postal service. This can be attributed to the fact that in many jurisdictions – particularly the United States of America – mailing cannabis is considered a federal offence. This is because cannabis is only legal in certain states and not on a federal level.
However, certain websites offer express delivery services for a fee. These fees can be as much as double the standard delivery fees.
What are the advantages of ordering cannabis online?
Ordering cannabis comes with several advantages, such as:
- Confidentiality – Purchasing weed via an online dispensary is a strictly confidential process. The only parties involved in the transaction are the seller and consumer.
- Convenience – You can shop anywhere you are. Whether it’s the comfort of your home or when you’re out and about town, online stores make marijuana accessible any and everywhere.
- A variety of products – Online dispensaries often have a larger selection of products. This can be attributed to the larger, more diverse audience they cater to.
- Promotional deals and offers – Online dispensaries often offer promotional deals and packages to their consumers, and so you’re likely to get a better deal on the internet.
Are there any risks associated with ordering cannabis online?
Despite the benefits, purchasing cannabis online does have some risks:
- Counterfeit websites – There are numerous counterfeit websites which claim to ship marijuana to locations where it’s illegal. Cannabis consumers have to keep an eye out for shoddy websites with no established delivery systems. Such websites will likely take your money without delivering your cannabis product, and even if they do, you’ll likely lose it to customs at the border.
- Product authenticity – With online purchases, there is no sure fire way to authenticate products. In products like cannabis seeds where seeds may look the same, it’s almost impossible to know if one has been duped or not.
- Product inspection– Many cannabis consumers prefer to see and smell products before purchase. This option is not possible with online purchases.
Where can you order cannabis online?
Cannabis can be purchased online in numerous European countries, Canada, and some states in the United States. The European countries include:
- The United Kingdom;
- Germany; and
European nations often ship cannabis within the European Union (EU) and, in some cases, worldwide.
In the United States, mailing marijuana through the post is considered drug trafficking and, hence, a federal crime. As stated, this is because marijuana is an illegal substance on the federal level. Delivery services are regularly handled by private and internal couriers. It is curious to note that the issue of legality only poses an issue with cannabis and preparations high in the tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). In a survey conducted by Brobible, cannabis products rich in Cannabidiol (CBD) face no hassles in shipment nationwide.
In Canada, the laws regarding purchasing cannabis online vary according to the province and territory in question. In Ontario, for example, the only site where cannabis can be purchased online – legally – is the Ontario Cannabis Store. This is a government run website. Government-run online stores can also be found in territories such as Alberta and New Brunswick.
Cannabis can be purchased and delivered in a number of jurisdictions around the world. While cannabis may not be delivered as quickly as pizza, the availability of the service is indeed a convenience to cannabis consumers worldwide. This, of course, isn’t the case everywhere so check your local laws before attempting an online cannabis purchase.