Canada became the first major industrialized country to fully decriminalize cannabis for recreational use on October 17th, 2015. Although a general success, the process proved to be much more complicated due to the unexpectedly high demand. The shortages of legal cannabis and lack of cannabis retail outlets in more rural areas pushed the development of online dispensaries across Canada.
The federal government is responsible for licensing commercial cannabis growers and authorizing their products. Each province and territory is responsible for regulating the sale and distribution of cannabis on their own. Currently, online cannabis dispensaries are not allowed to sell cannabis seeds for recreational use nor edibles.
Here is a summary of the laws and a list of offline and online stores within each province/territory:
The BC Liquor Distribution Branch (LDB) is the only wholesale distributor of recreational cannabis for the entire province. It is also the only legal site to purchase marijuana online. You must be 19 to purchase, sell, or consume cannabis.
The Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission (AGLC) watches over the cannabis industry in Alberta. They regulate distribution and private retail licensing of cannabis. It is also the only legal site to purchase marijuana online. You must be 18 to purchase, sell, or consume cannabis.
In Saskatchewan, private retailers that are approved by the Liquor and Gaming Authorities are allowed to sell Cannabis products on their website. You must be 19 to purchase, sell, or consume cannabis.
Private retailers are allowed to sell products on their websites in Manitoba. You must be 19 to purchase, sell, or consume cannabis.
The Ontario Cannabis Store (OCS) is the province’s only legal site to buy cannabis online. The only method to purchase legal marijuana in the province is mail order. You must be 19 to purchase, sell, or consume cannabis.
The Société Québécoise du Cannabis (SQDC) is in charge of cannabis distribution in Quebec. You must be 18 to purchase, sell, or consume cannabis.
The Nova Scotia Liquor Corporation (NSLC) is responsible for cannabis distribution in the province. MyNSLC operates online cannabis sales for the entire province. Before accessing online cannabis, you must visit a store with valid ID and retrieve an access code. You must be 19 to purchase, sell, or consume cannabis.
Cannabis NB operates the only online marijuana store in the province. You must be 19 to purchase, sell, or consume cannabis.
Newfoundland and Labrador
The Newfoundland Labrador Liquor Corporation (NLC) regulates marijuana laws in the province. You must be 19 to purchase, sell, or consume cannabis.
Prince Edward Island
The PEI Cannabis Corp. is responsible for the online sales of cannabis. All orders must be done through mail and you must be present for pickup at a physical address. You must be 19 to purchase, sell, or consume cannabis.
The Northwest Territories Liquor and Cannabis Commission (NTLCC) is responsible for regulating the distribution of cannabis in the territory. The only places to buy legal marijuana include NTLCC-approved vendors and from the NTLCC online store.
The following link displays the only 4 locations where cannabis is available for sale in the Northwest Territories:
The Nunavut Liquor and Cannabis Commission (NULC) regulates cannabis products in the territory. It is illegal to purchase non-medical cannabis in Nunavut from anywhere other than the NULC or its agents – currently, only the Canopy Growth Corporation (Tweed) is approved. Cannabis is not sold in any physical store.
The Yukon Liquor Corporation (YLC) is responsible for regulating recreational cannabis in the territory. You must be 19 to purchase, sell, or consume cannabis.
Regulations and policies are being developed to allow for private retail sales in 2019.