Guide to Buying Weed in Canada

The Guide to Buying Weed in Canada

Buying weed in Canada has never been easier. There are a variety of ways to access the full array of legal products now available. In the following article, you’ll discover all the rules and regulations surrounding the purchase of cannabis in Canada.

How to Buy Weed in Canada

Since October 17, 2018, Canadian adults have gained access to recreational cannabis. The medical cannabis program continues to operate in a parallel framework. Any adult in Canada can purchase cannabis, but accessing medical cannabis requires medical professional authorization.

You must be an adult, although the exact age varies by province or territory. The minimum age for cannabis access is 18 in Alberta, at least 21 in Quebec, and 19 in other provinces and territories. You can buy cannabis in-person or online, while the specifics vary by region. Since this is a critical consideration for buying cannabis legally, we’ll explore the key details below.

All Canadians have access to cannabis online. The sale of cannabis online is through provincially-controlled entities in the majority of provinces and territories. Manitoba and Saskatchewan are the only two regions to permit private online sales. These online retailers are named after each province and territory, such as British Columbia Cannabis Stores (BCCS), Ontario Cannabis Stores (OCS), and Société québécoise du cannabis (SQDC).

You can purchase cannabis in-person at licensed retail stores in every province and territory. Retail stores can be provincially operated or privately operated. The regions with government-operated retail stores only include Quebec, Prince Edward Island, Nunavut, Nova Scotia, Northwest Territories, New Brunswick, and British Columbia.

Alberta, Manitoba, Newfoundland and Labrador, Ontario, Saskatchewan, and Yukon have private-operated retail stores. The names can vary dramatically, but you can find official lists of legal stores in each province.

Whether you buy cannabis online or in-person, you will have to prove you are of age with an official ID. When it comes to cannabis delivery, the person who receives the package must present proof of age. Many retail stores check for age at the door, so you still need ID if you plan on window shopping.

Now that you have a solid understanding of the rules behind the cannabis industry, we’ll explore some of the top questions you may still have.

1. How do you know the cannabis you buy is legal?

All legal cannabis in Canada will come with an excise stamp on the outer packaging. Each stamp is slightly different, but they all follow the same format. They come with securities features images that will remind you of Canadian currency.

2. How much weed can you possess?

No matter where you are, you can only carry 30 grams of dried cannabis or equivalent on you. Each region has different rules around how much cannabis may reside in your home. Still, the public possession limit does not change.

3. How much Cannabis can I buy at a time?

The exact limit on how much you can buy depends on the region. There is no retail store or online provider that will sell more than 30 grams per purchase due to the possession limit. Some regions lower that number slightly to 28 grams per purchase. 

4. Can I buy cannabis as a tourist?

Yes, in Canada, all adults can buy recreational cannabis. There is no limitation around buying cannabis as a non-citizen. That said, keep in mind that cannabis can not legally leave Canada. Before exiting Canada, ensure you finish or toss all cannabis products.

5. Should I Buy a Sativa, Indica, or Hybrid strain?

Personal preference is king. If you enjoy certain strains, then they are right for you. Once you discover strains you enjoy, use them to find other strains with similar compositions.

Generally speaking, Sativa strains produce more of a head high with higher energy levels. Conversely, Indica strains tend to deliver a body high with more sedation and relaxation. Finally, hybrid strains can be Sativa- or Indica-dominant. Depending on the dominant genetics, hybrids can fall on either end of the high spectrum.

6. What types of Cannabis products can I buy?

There is a full assortment of delivery methods and product types that you can buy in Canada. These weed products include dried flowers, seeds, plants, infused beverages, edibles, capsules, cannabis oil, and cannabis concentrates.

7. How do I determine product potency?

When it comes to buying cannabis, one major factor is the potency of THC and CBD. There is one term you need to understand to help you read cannabis labels. The term is ‘total THC’ or ‘total CBD,’ and it tells you the key number you’re likely seeking. This term describes how much THC and CBD will be found in the product when it is used as intended.

Without diving into details, many of the actual compounds in cannabis exist in an acid form. These acids must be heated to convert the compounds to what we all know as THC and CBD. And so, if you smoke or vape dried flowers, the total THC is the expected potency of that product.

Products do not generally list the number as a percentage instead of providing the total milligrams per gram of THC or CBD. Keep in mind that there are 1000 milligrams in a gram. You can determine the percentage by doing the math or take a shortcut by cutting off the last digit. Doing so will describe the potency as a percentage.

8. How do I determine the quality of products?

While the only way to assess products honestly is by trying them out, some considerations are worth noting. When it comes to the quality of dried flower, here are some topics to review in the product description:

  • What was the growing method? Indoors, outdoors, greenhouse, small-batch, and more.
  • How was it trimmed? Hand- or machine-trimmed?
  • What terpenes does it contain? And the percentages if listed.
  • What is the price per gram?
  • How much CBD does it contain? While we focus on THC, more CBD is often better.

Discovering how to buy weed in Canada

You now know all the essential facts behind buying weed in Canada. With this information, you can now research the specifics for your local region. Whether you buy cannabis online or in-person is your choice, although some remote areas may still be lacking physical stores. We also answered the broad questions that you likely had. 

By knowing the options, you can find the right place to buy weed near you. Furthermore, you learned what key factors to consider when assessing different types of dried flowers. There is a large assortment of cannabis products now available to adults in Canada.  While the first purchase may bring a bit more stress, you’ll be buying cannabis confidently with ease in no time.


(Government of Canada (2021). Cannabis in the provinces and territories. Retrieved from: