For pro-cannabis Ontarians, this is likely one step forward, that is, if you prefer the legs up, back slouched method of purchasing your cannabis with a click of a mouse.
As many do.
But, if you’re old school, and prefer the casual jaunt, tasting the air, immersing yourself in the sights and sounds of the city, then, nothing has really changed for you at all.
Because, provincially licensed bricks-and-mortar stores begin unravelling in Ontario street corners no later than April of 2019, a solid 6 months away.
Yep, you read right.
The Ontario Cannabis Store, the e-commerce retailer, will be the only legal channel for all of Ontario for a whole 6 months.
And with it, leaving the habits of old-school shoppers completely unchanged – having no choice but to remain grey market dispensary consumers.
The Ontario Cannabis Store may just be a slight ripple of change, in an ocean of cannabis consumers so vast – who in reality need a tidal wave.
But metaphor or not and even with its shortcomings, the store is without a doubt making headway, by showing the market what to ultimately expect from a provincially ran online cannabis outlet.
The first ever, mind you.
So, here’s everything about the online retailer as it now stands.
The Ontario Cannabis Store is a Wealth of Information
Just submit an age of at least 19 years old, and the website reveals itself as a reliable and objective information source for all things cannabis.
On one end, the website describes cannabis is used “to relax, feel happier, to become more social or more energetic, more focused, creative or productive, and to increase appetite and arousal.”
A thumbs up in our opinion.
On the other end, the website also provides guidelines for safe use, stating effects can range from “pleasant to very unpleasant” as “cannabis interacts uniquely with each individual.”
There’s also article upon article on topics from cannabis science, to strain selection guidelines, to even the basic facts of legalization. These, when clicked, lead to even more articles about how to cook, store and what to expect if it’s your first time using.
Digging deeper, the website takes a scientific approach throughout.
In one instance, it does so by describing the differences between sativa and indica strains, stating that commonly accepted notions of sativas beings energy giving and indicas being energy taken, no longer truly apply.
Or in their words, “while some of this basic [sativa/indica] 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.”
So, when we refer to sativas as our ideal “daytime uplifting smoke” and indicas as our ideal “night-time sleep smoke” are we just speaking fluff? Meaningless verbiage?
This might be the case.
As the website rationally explains, these straightforward descriptions are meant for pure sativa or indica strains, which through the course of grower evolution, have been mixed, blended over and over again, wiping the purity of each almost out of existence.
Therefore, “it’s not possible to completely predict the experience you will have.”
Our question is:
Will there ever be a cannabis product that provides the same experience for everyone?
We don’t think so. Think of pharmaceuticals. Think of alcohol, or even caffeine. How many of us know at least one person who has a different reaction than what’s normally experienced by the large majority.
So listen to your own gut-instinct, and trust your self judgement as to whether the cannabis experience is giving beneficial experience.
However, the “Ontario Cannabis Store” is set to be way more than just an educational website. Instead, its on the trajectory of being the largest online cannabis retailer in all of Canada.
Ontario Cannabis Store is Trying to Meet Demand
On the day of legalization, October 17th, Ontario’s first online cannabis retailer plans to only sell what the Cannabis Act permits.
In terms of the actual cannabis, it’s dried flower, oil, pre-rolled joints and gel capsules – all supplied by the store’s 32 Health Canada-licensed growers. As for accessories, the typical bongs, pipes, and storing aids will also be available.
The website goes on to describe how these products will be made easy for customers to find, as “easy-to-use search filters” in conjunction with THC and CBD strain descriptions will guide the many online shoppers in making ideal choices.
Adding to the convenience, user profiles and accounts will not have to be created – bringing in the controversial topic of personal data.
Personal Data Will Be Protected. We Hope.
The website also describes how user data, the ever-controversial topic in our digital age, will be used. Or rather, not used.
“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.”
Being government ran, we shouldn’t expect anything less, but in this era, if things turn out differently, as in if our personal data is used, shared or whatever for any other purpose that isn’t disclosed, we wouldn’t be surprised.
Sad to say.
Canada Post Will be the Main Shipping Carrier
Once online purchases are made, packages will be delivered right to the doorstep of customers by the one and only Canada Post.
The packages themselves will carry on the tradition of being inconspicuous, plain and discreet – having no outside marker of being a cannabis product. These are attempts by carriers and governments alike to respect the privacy of customers.
In addition, delivery agents will not leave unanswered packages at door steps, given the Cannabis Act’s strict regulations on the minimum age of pot consumption. Thus, in order to complete the delivery, customer ID’s will need to be checked and packages will need to be signed for confirmation.
Whether these processes benefit cannabis consumers or not, remains the question. Only time can tell.