A week from now, Canada Post will be delivering plain packages containing pot to residents across Ontario.
The Crown corporation has the contract to deliver weed for the government’s online store that opens for business Oct. 17, the day recreational cannabis is legalized across the country.
The Ontario Cannabis Store will probably be the largest online seller of cannabis in the country.
The online store will be the only legal channel for Ontarians to buy cannabis for nearly six months after legalization.
The provincial Conservative government plans to licence private businesses to operate bricks-and-mortar marijuana stores, but they won’t open until April 2019.
Portions of the Ontario Cannabis Store website went live Wednesday night. You can find the website at ocslearn.ca/learn.
Visitors to the website must check on a box confirming they are 19 before viewing the content.
You must be an Ontario resident to order from the store.
Canada Post will deliver the dried flower, oil, pre-rolled joints and cannabis seeds that will be for sale on Day 1, according to the website.
And there’s no need to worry the neighbours will find out. “When we ship orders, we deliver in discreet, plain packaging so the nature of your purchase is not revealed.”
A delivery agent will check ID when the package is delivered. If no one is home, packages will not be left at the door.
The Ontario Cannabis Store will be careful with personal information collected by customers, says the website. “We understand that our customers expect us to keep their purchases confidential, and so we have made a deliberate choice to protect personal information.
“We only collect information that is necessary for each transaction. We won’t use or share it for any other purposes and it will never be sold to third parties. All information will only be kept for the minimum length of time required by law, and then deleted as soon as possible.”
Customers will not have to create an online account or profile in order to made a purchase.
The Ontario Cannabis Store has supply deals with 32 Health Canada-licensed cannabis growers who will provide the products.
The online store will provide information about the content of THC, the chemical that makes users “high,” and CBD, a component that is not psychoactive and can have medical benefits. “Easy-to-use search filters” will allow customers to search for products based on their preferences, says the website.
The store will also sell cannabis accessories, which will presumably include pipes and bongs.
The website is packed with information. It explains the cannabis plant, including strain types and an explanation of THC, CBD and terpenes, which are responsible for the taste and smell of cannabis.
The website also outlines the health risks of using marijuana, includes guidelines for lower-risk use, and warns that the effects of using the common drug range from “pleasant to very unpleasant.”
People use cannabis to relax, feel happier, more social or more energetic, to become more focused, creative or productive, and to increase appetite and arousal, says the website.
However, “because cannabis interacts uniquely with each individual, it’s possible that you’ll experience something different than what you may expect.”
The information provided is detailed and nuanced. For example, the website explains that while it was once thought that the species of cannabis — sativa or indica — was solely responsible for the effect, that can be misleading. Many cannabis users are under the impression that sativa strains provide more energy, while indica strains are more calming or sedating.
“While some of this basic knowledge may still apply, now that hybrid strains have been cultivated by growers for so many years, references to the effects of pure species may no longer be relevant or helpful,” says the website.
“Today, there are hundreds of strains of plants ⎯ each bred for specific characteristics and often intended to produce specific effects for consumers.
“While many licensed cannabis producers are trying to cultivate new strains to reliably produce certain desired effects, the science of producing a product with consistent effects for every person is not yet well enough understood, and much more research will be needed before this is possible,” says the website. “This is another reason it’s not possible to completely predict the experience you will have.”
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