Buying your weed online is an excellent way to get what you’re looking for with minimal hassle. It requires very little effort and is amazingly convenient. That being said, for every legitimate business, there are bound to be multiple scammers trying to steal your money or your information.
When you buy weed online you don’t have the same face-to-face interaction. Furthermore, it’s hard to know whether or not the order you placed is actually on its way or when it will arrive. This opens people up to plenty of scam artists posing as legitimate vendors for nefarious purposes.
Thankfully, there are ways to protect yourself from scams by simply doing your due diligence ahead of time. A reputable online dispensary will always check a few key boxes. If they don’t, then they could find themselves in a lot of trouble, including having their license revoked.
Buying weed online doesn’t have to be a troublesome experience. This is especially true if you keep an eye out for red flags. We’ve put together a list of the big ones to look out for in order to help keep you safe and secure when buying weed from an online dispensary in Canada.
17. Poor or Nonexistent Reviews and Testimonials
Any online dispensary that takes what they do seriously will post reviews or testimonials from previous customers. If a purported dispensary has poor reviews, you’ll be better off going elsewhere to buy weed online. This reasoning also goes for companies that have only a small number of previous reviews with a lot of grammatical or spelling errors.
Scammers will often make up their own reviews in order to trick you, but these are usually somewhat lacking in one way, shape, or form. Taking this step even further, if you can’t find any reviews or testimonials for a particular dispensary, you should avoid buying weed from them at all costs.
16. Too Much Personal Information Required
You will usually be required to provide proof of age when buying weed online. This is standard practice and shouldn’t raise any red flags per se. This becomes an issue when a particular seller asks for too much personal information. Providing proof of age is one thing, but if a seller requires things like your SIN, credit card PIN, bank account information, or other personal details you should probably walk away. This level of KYC isn’t required by law. A good rule of thumb is that you should never give out important or private information to anyone online for any reason.
15. Unreasonable Prices
When we use the term ‘unreasonable prices’ we’re talking about prices that are too high or too low. If you don’t know what standard weed prices are, be sure to look them up or ask a friend. An online dispensary or seller that offers ridiculously high prices is either ripping you off or trying to scam you. On the other hand, if their prices are too low, you’re probably going to receive sub-par products that aren’t worth buying in the first place. Any reputable company will not gouge you and likewise won’t sell themselves short either.
14. Inability to Provide Certification Information
You have every right to ask to see proper certification information when buying from an online dispensary. This information should be easy for them to provide, assuming you’re dealing with a legitimate seller. If they can’t (or won’t) provide relevant certification info, do yourself a favour and buy weed from a dispensary that can.
13. Avoid email/advertising/message board links
When buying weed online, you should always avoid buying it from a random user on a message board. You should also avoid following unsolicited links that pop up in your email inbox. Another solid practice is to stay away from any advertising links. When you buy weed online, you should never follow random links or buy it from an individual simply because they offered to sell you some.
12. No/Poor Customer Service
Another massive red flag is a dispensary that has no customer service to speak of. The same thing goes for online dispensaries that have terrible customer service. Any company worth their salt will do their very best to ensure that you have the best possible experience when dealing with them. If a seller can’t be bothered to answer basic questions or you can’t get in touch with them to begin with, you’re going to have a bad time.
10. Always Buy From a Reputable Source
This should go without saying, but we had to include it just to make the point clear. You should always know who you’re buying weed from. Always choose a reputable online dispensary that you trust. If anything starts to feel shady or you begin to have doubts, there’s no harm in simply walking away. Doing your due diligence by properly vetting any seller ahead of time is the best way to avoid being scammed or otherwise screwed over.
9. Spelling Mistakes or Inconsistent Content
A business that takes what they do seriously will always proofread any content they display. Sometimes mistakes do happen, but if you notice multiple grammatical, spelling, or usage errors then you’re not dealing with a respectable company to begin with. The same principle goes for inconsistent content. If you notice any discrepancies or issues on a particular website, do yourself a favour and don’t buy weed from them, just in case.
8. Poorly Maintained Website
Nobody likes to navigate through a website that looks like a kindergartner put it together. Furthermore, any online dispensary worth their salt will go out of their way to perform proper maintenance on their site. If you come across a website that looks like a MySpace page or is put together poorly, you could very well be walking into a scam. Even if the seller is legitimate, a website that looks like trash will generally have low-quality products that aren’t worth buying anyway.
7. Website Security Setting Issues
If a website address starts with anything other than https:// then it isn’t secure and should be avoided. This is especially true if you have to input sensitive information, such as a credit or debit card number. You should never give out any information on an unsecure site. An unsecured site also means that the seller probably isn’t legitimate anyway, as legit businesses will always take steps to secure their site and protect your information.
*You should also pay close attention to the URL and make sure that the address is spelled properly. Some scammers will copy the website of a real business in an attempt to redirect you to their fraudulent site. If you end up noticing strange URLs or ones that are spelled improperly, you could very well be on a fake website.
6. Lack of Product Details
Any good online dispensary will include all the details of a product so you know exactly what you’re buying. This includes its THC and/or CBD content, along with relevant strain information. Never buy weed from a seller who just posts the bare minimum of info with regard to their products. You can never have too much information when it comes to safely buying weed online.
5. Offering ‘Dead’ or ‘Lost’ Strains
Lots of scammers don’t do their research and don’t know a lot about the current ins and outs of the cannabis industry. This often leads to them advertising strains that have well-known names, despite the fact that they aren’t currently available. An example of this is ‘Acapulco Gold’, which was wildly popular back in the 1970s. The issue with strains like this is that they haven’t been available for 20 years or so, making it impossible for a seller to get their hands on them. If a seller is offering you a strain that’s dead or lost to time, then you’re obviously walking right into a scam.
4. Selling Over Felony Weight
You should always know exactly how much weed a dispensary is legally allowed to sell. Many scammers don’t care about these little details and will offer to sell you a bag that’s over felony weight, which is something that a legitimate company will never do. If you get an offer to buy a pound of primo kush, for example, you’re probably dealing with a scammer or an illegal operation. Buying amounts that are over felony weight can easily get you in a lot of trouble, especially with the law.
3. High Minimum Orders
Many legitimate online dispensaries have a minimum order that they will ship. This isn’t necessarily a red flag, but you should never buy weed online from a seller who insists that you have to purchase more than a quarter of an ounce at a time. At the end of the day, a seller that requires a minimum purchase of at least $90 to $100 is probably trying to scam you.
2. Pushy Salespeople
A sales rep who enjoys what they do can sometimes get over-excited, but will never push you into a sale if you aren’t ready. If you come across an online dispensary or other seller who just won’t take no for an answer, they’re probably not trustworthy. When this happens, it’s a good call to cut and run in order to keep yourself safe.
1. Random Email accounts
When you buy weed online from a reputable dispensary, they will almost always have a company email attached to the business itself. If, however, you receive an email from a random email platform, you should start to get suspicious. This is especially true if you find a seller using an email provider like AOL or Hotmail. No legitimate business will use an address from these platforms. If you do come across one of these potential scammers, you should report them and find a trustworthy company instead.