OBTAINING CANNABIS ONCE YOU’RE LEGAL
The truth of the matter is that, thanks to our Courts, access to medical cannabis in Canada is getting easier, it will never get harder. All of the legal provision of cannabis to end users in Canada is provided by shopping and paying online, then having your purchases delivered by Canada Post. There ARE NO Federally sanctioned Medical Cannabis Dispensaries (Store Fronts) in Canada.
Once a Legal Producer accepts your Authorization you can shop at their web site. With your acceptance by an LP you will receive your user name and password electronically which will allow you to purchase online. You will pay for your order using a credit card or COD. You will receive a tracking number and your goods will be delivered by parcel post. With your first order you will receive your personal Identification Card. Should you ever need it, this is your proof of legal status. You can join any Dispensary, online or storefront, using this card OR a copy of the Authorization your Doctor signed. Online Dispensaries are similar to the LP's; you will shop online and have your medicine shipped via Canada Post. Dispensaries cannot accept credit cards because of their quasi-legal status however many can now accept Debit Cards. Otherwise, at a storefront its cash online you can also use COD or mail a cheque and wait for your order while payment goes through the mail and then waits to clear the bank.
You cannot legally walk into a Dispensary, talk to knowledgable staff and make informed purchase decisions, sensible as that seems. If Dispensaries are technically illegal why are they allowed to stay open? They serve a legitimate need and most only sell to those with legal authorization. Lately in defiance of the Laws that are about to change in Canada, many Dispensaries have dispensed with the need to prove medical need. They will sell to anyone old enough to buy cigarettes (19). Why do people prefer Dispensaries over Legal Producers? They give knowledgable, one-on-one counselling, guidance, often superior product therefore they provide a valuable service to medical cannabis users. Forcibly shutting them down has brought down the wrath of the courts who grow increasingly irritated and impatient with our Federal Government’s attitude toward medical cannabis. At every opportunity the Canadian Courts have sided with medical cannabis users which is the ONLY reason medical cannabis is available in this Country! It is interesting that the recent spate of Dispensary bust charges never seem to make it to Court, the charges get dropped. Many believe this crazy behaviour of the part of the Police is to protect the positions of the Legal Producers while we wait for legalization. Many of the Legal Producers have formerly prominent Liberals and Conservatives as their flagship Board Members to help sell stock and they have the ability to exert undue influence because of those Old Boy connections.
In a local Dispensary you can buy your medicine and walk out with it. With an LP, everything is done online, you go to your LP's web site, look over their offerings, getting very little advice. You must make your purchase online and pay for it with a credit card or arrange COD delivery. Then you must wait for your medicine to come via Canada Post. This means you need a computer, internet access and a credit card. This points to a basic injustice in the current legislation. Many people are too sick to care about or use the internet or don't have access to a computer. They may not have a credit card or they may be fearful of buying online due to fear of fraud. Using a Dispensary for these people and many more is much easier, more social and enjoyable.
There are over 40 (and counting) Federally Licensed Providers of Medical Cannabis in Canada. If you want to join one you need to sit down at a computer for a couple of hours and spend some time at each providers web site to decide who you want to be YOUR provider. You might choose the one closest to you geographically to reduce shipping costs and time. You might choose one who you think has the most interesting strains of cannabis on their web site or the lowest prices. There is a LOT of variability in these things between the various providers. Here’s a current list from LIFT of Canadian Legal Producers which includes the URL's for each producer.
Because you went to a particular doctor or clinic, they may try to steer you toward a particular provider. Remember it is YOUR CHOICE, you decide who’s cannabis you will buy. Tell the clinic that you want to leave with your Authorization and after consideration you will decide which Legal Producer to join. Don’t be pushed into accepting a provider you don’t want and don’t decide until you’ve had a chance to check out the options.
You should not fear using Dispensaries once you become a legal user. They may be illegal but you are no longer so you can't be busted. Dispensaries are practically the only place to source any medical cannabis other than dry herb. After a recent Supreme Court Decision, it is now possible for the legal providers sell cannabis oils but they are restricted to producing such weak product that you couldn't consider it for a serious internal disease in my opinion. The oils that you will find at the LP's are great for healthy people who want to take on supplemental cannabinoids for health maintenance. The truth of the matter is that, thanks to our Courts, access to medical cannabis in Canada is getting easier, it will never get harder.