Effective March 8, 2022, licensed Alberta cannabis retailers will have the opportunity to sell cannabis online and provide delivery and AGLC will be exiting online cannabis sales. To legally offer online cannabis sales in Alberta, licensed cannabis retailers must operate a physical store and receive an endorsement to their licence from AGLC.
Weed out the scam
When you purchase cannabis from an illegal online seller, the issue is not just about where you purchased your cannabis.
The Edmonton Police Service has found illegal online cannabis sellers who ask for copies of buyers’ driver’s licences and even secondary identification like utility bills to verify their age and delivery location. This gives organized crime groups the opportunity to also sell the buyer’s personal and financial information.
We target these illegal online sellers and promote the safe, legal purchasing options to protect citizens from becoming victims of other crimes.
So if you wouldn’t give out your personal or banking information to the scammer on the phone, why would you give it away to the stranger illegally selling cannabis?
Remember: scammers don’t always commit identity fraud immediately; it can take years before a stolen identity is used in a crime. Be sure to keep your identity safe and check your credit ratings. You can learn more about these frauds and the necessary information you should bring when filing a fraud report on our fraud pages.
Online Cannabis FAQs
How do you know if it's a legal online seller?
In January 2022, AGLC launched CannabisSense.ca, which provides helpful information for customers so they can identify legal cannabis products and illegal sites. Approved online cannabis retailers can be found on the AGLC website.
Approved retailers must also prominently display several pieces of information so Albertans can easily identify a site that has been endorsed by AGLC for legal cannabis sales. This includes:
- all of the licensees' licence numbers
- all of the licensed premises names and physical addresses
- public education materials and a link to AGLC's cannabis licensee search page on aglc.ca
What if I order online from another province – is that legal?
No, it is not legal. Non-medical cannabis purchased from outside of Alberta and shipped by the seller for delivery within Alberta is not legal cannabis.
The regulation of non-medical cannabis sales falls to individual provincial and territorial governments, and not the federal government. Each of these government bodies have their own laws that authorize cannabis retailers to sell to consumers within their respective jurisdiction, but do not permit sales of non-medical cannabis to consumers outside of their jurisdiction.
If a website is offering to ship non-medical cannabis to more than one province or territory within Canada, it is an indication that the website is operating in contravention of provincial and federal legislation, thereby making the cannabis provided illicit.
Is it still legal to buy medical cannabis online?
Yes, registered patients can purchase medical cannabis from vendors approved by Health Canada. You can find that list here.
What are the penalties?
Under the provincial Gaming, Liquor and Cannabis Act, a business convicted of selling cannabis without a licence is liable to a fine up to $50,000, and individuals involved in the sale of illegal cannabis are liable to a fine of up to $10,000 and/or imprisonment up to 6 months.
Under the federal Cannabis Act, individuals selling or distributing illicit cannabis face up to 14 years in jail, and individuals in possession of illicit cannabis face imprisonment of up to five years or a fine of up to $5,000.
Does not knowing the website was illegal excuse you from getting in trouble with the law?
Ignorance of the law is never an excuse for breaking the law, which is why the Edmonton Police Service is hoping to educate the public about these illegal websites.