5 Laws Anyone Working in Online Dispensary Should Know

Weed is finally legal for both recreational and medicinal use. But this does not mean anyone can sell and distribute cannabis. The government needs to control the sale and distribution of cannabis products to protect consumers by ensuring that they have access to safe, quality products.

While many people still buy recreational marijuana from the backstreet, an increasing number of consumers are getting their products from licensed dealers. Many weed stores are online, but they also need licenses. If you run an online dispensary Canada check this various legislations that you should be familiar with.

You might find yourself serving a long sentence for defying a law you were not even aware of. Here are some laws that you need to check out:

1. Cannabis License Act

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If you operate a cannabis retail store, you need to meet the conditions of the Cannabis License Act to get a Retail Operator License. Only licensed retail operators can sell weed legally. When you have a license, the government will recognize your store as an “authorized store” to indicate that you are a certified online cannabis dealer.

The Cannabis License Act also requires retail stores to have Cannabis Retail Manager License. The nature of your business will determine the number and types of licenses you need to operate an online cannabis dispensary.
If the business is a sole proprietorship, the owner who is the licensed retail operator can also perform the duties of a retail store manager. The exception also applies to partnerships where the licensed retail operator is one of the partners and doubles as the retail store manager.

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The government can also suspend or revoke your Cannabis License Act if you do not comply with the requirements. If yours is suspended, you are supposed to put a notice on your website to inform your customers that your license has been revoked or suspended.

2. The Cannabis Act

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Online cannabis retailers in Canada are subjected to several conditions under The Cannabis Act. If you sell products such as edibles, oils, or concentrates, you need to be aware of the legal measurements. The law measures cannabis based on dried weight, which is equivalent to:

  • 0.25 grams of concentrates
  • 5 grams of fresh cannabis
  • 15 grams of edibles
  • 70 grams of liquid

You need to understand the legal limits individuals can possess in public to advise your clients when making purchases. Since some buyers may not be aware of the legal requirements, you will forge trust and customer loyalty by offering the correct legal information.

You need to be aware of the legal requirements under The Cannabis Act since some offences can attract as much as 14 years prison sentence. Offenses that might attract such penalties include transporting cannabis across the border and selling cannabis to a person under the legal age, which can be 18 or 19, depending on the province.

3. Cannabis Control Act

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The Cannabis Control Act will help you understand further prohibitions on cannabis sale and distribution. For example, only an authorized dealer can sell and distribute cannabis. If you are an employee at an online cannabis store, you should understand that you can only sell cannabis under a licensed dealer’s authorization.

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You are also required to confirm the age of your customers when purchasing or delivering cannabis products. You should ask for identification at the time of delivery if your ordering system does not require age verification. You may have to include age verification on your website to avoid prosecution for selling cannabis to the underage.

4. Excise Act, 2001

The Excise Act requires an excise stamp on all cannabis products produced for purchase. You must be a licensed cannabis operator by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) to acquire excise stamps. So, if you have an online store, you may not be able to sell and distribute your products if they don’t have an excise stamp.

The stamps must match the territory or province you wish to sell your products. So, each territory or province has its unique color for its excise stamps, and you cannot sell products for one region in another territory. The stamp has a unique identifier for each product, making it easy to trace to the producer.

Excise stamps show that you are a licensed operator and you meet your tax obligations. As a retailer, the Excise Act requires you to calculate the duty on your sales and file returns and remit duty to the CRA.

Excise stamps also let the consumers know that you’re a licensed dealer, which increases consumer confidence. So, you can consider it a mark of certainty for your clients.

5. Food and Drugs Act

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The Food and Drugs Act outlines food products containing cannabis that are legal. As an online dispensary, you need to be aware of the products you should sell. For example, online retailers are not supposed to sell health products to individuals without a prescription.

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Who Can Buy Cannabis?

Medicinal and recreational use of cannabis can be legal in your state, but not everyone can buy it. Both physical shops and online dispensaries must ensure that their buyers meet the requirements before selling them products.

Your website should have age and address verification system to ensure that the buyers are legitimate. However, you are not allowed to store the buyers’ records, like who buys and how often.

It’s important to note that all rules apply, even for medical patients. Such patients are required to show their medical marijuana card. The card is issued by the state and shows the marijuana use is based on a doctor’s recommendation.


The laws on cannabis sale and distribution might seem overwhelming, but they are intended to ensure that your clients buy safe products. Any online retailer who cares about their clients should comply with all the legal requirements.

Ensure that you find out all the requirements before you open your online store. Compliance will protect you from prosecution.