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What you need to know about shipping cannabis to Canada

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What you need to know about shipping cannabis to Canada

Last update: September 21, 2020

Canada legalized the use of recreational cannabis in October 2018, but delivery service providers had already been ready to ship it for some time. You should know that the first steps towards the legalization of cannabis date back to 2001, when Canada authorized the ordering of therapeutic cannabis by mail: it was then necessary to establish strict handling rules throughout the supply chain. supply. Today, many of these measures allow logistics service providers to comply with the other types of shipments that the Cannabis law1. In 2019, Health Canada added to the Cannabis law cannabis extracts, cannabis for topical use and edible cannabis, hence the implementation of new regulations.

The legalization of cannabis has raised all sorts of questions in Canada, for businesses and consumers alike. Abrar Suri, Strategic Account Manager at Purolator, walks you through the new regulations and answers your questions about how to comply with the Cannabis law.

First, what do I need to know about shipping cannabis?

Health Canada has put in place strict rules surrounding the delivery of cannabis to ensure safe transport. Canadian businesses, customers and individuals all benefit from being well informed to ensure a hassle-free process.

How is COVID-19 changing the delivery of cannabis in Canada?

Although cannabis retail stores remain closed across the country, government officials have announced the continued delivery of cannabis products to Canadians during the pandemic. Delivery of cannabis is conditional on retailers continuing to comply with all laws and regulations ensuring that cannabis is not sold or delivered to anyone below the legal age limits established by the provinces.

Which companies can ship cannabis to individuals?

Only licensed producers (approved by Health Canada) can ship medical cannabis to patients enrolled in the Health Canada network.

When it comes to recreational cannabis, each province has set up its own distribution plan (see table below). Canadians also have the option of purchasing cannabis products online and having them delivered directly to their homes.

Province AB BC MB NB NL NT NS NAKED WE PE QC SK YT
Government-operated stores

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

Authorized private stores

x

x

x

x

x

Can individuals send cannabis to another person?

Yes. Individuals can send cannabis to another person, as long as it was purchased from a licensed producer or grown at home.

Can I use any courier to ship cannabis?

Yes. You can use any courier service to ship cannabis, as long as it was purchased from a licensed producer or grown at home.

Can I use any courier service to ship cannabis extracts, cannabis topicals and edible cannabis?

Yes. You can use any courier service to ship cannabis extracts, topical cannabis and edible cannabis as long as the product was purchased from a licensed producer.

How much cannabis can I ship in one shipment?

There are different limits on how much cannabis you can ship; it all depends on the type of product.

Type of product Shipping limit
Recreational cannabis (including cannabis extracts, cannabis topicals and edible cannabis) 30 grams
Therapeutic Cannabis 30 times the patient’s daily dose
Cannabis plant 4 plants per household

Exception: Prohibited shipment to Manitoba and Quebec

Cannabis seeds No limit

Exception: Prohibited shipment to Manitoba and Quebec

Can I ship cannabis from one province to another?

Yes. You can ship cannabis from one province to another. However, you cannot ship cannabis plants and seeds to Manitoba and Quebec.

Can I ship cannabis to the United States, to a state where it has been legalized?

No. Although some US states have legalized cannabis, it is illegal to ship it outside of Canada. You could then be subject to significant penalties, both in Canada and the United States. In Canada, cannabis is a Schedule I substance. Your penalty will depend on the intent of your shipment and the amount of cannabis it contains. Offenders can be subject to a fine or even several years in prison.

Can I bring cannabis into the United States, to a state where it has been legalized, and deliver it in person?

No. It is illegal to cross the border in possession of cannabis products, regardless of the quantity. You could then be subject to significant penalties, both in Canada and the United States. In Canada, cannabis is a Schedule I substance. Your penalty will depend on your intent and the amount of cannabis in your possession. Offenders can be subject to a fine or even several years in prison.

What are the packaging and labeling requirements for shipping cannabis?

Health Canada has implemented strict regulations surrounding the delivery of cannabis to ensure safe transport. All deliveries must meet the following packaging and labeling requirements:

  • Childproof packaging. All products must have protective packaging.
  • excise stamp. An excise stamp must be affixed to the packaging of each product. This stamp is proof that the applicable duties have been paid to the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). It can also be used as a security seal.
  • No smell. Use a plastic container or vacuum bag to avoid odors. To prevent odors from seeping into the outer packaging, store it in a separate area from where you keep your cannabis products.
  • security seal. Affix a security seal to the product to assure consumers that the product has not been opened prior to purchase.
  • Non-revealing packaging. The packaging of the consignment should not provide any indication of its contents.

Is cannabis subject to specific reporting and shipping requirements?

Yes. Couriers must obtain proof of age and a signature from the recipient.

What happens if a package does not comply with the applicable standards?

If your packaging does not meet applicable standards, your package will likely be detained, and you will be contacted to let you know. A good delivery service provider will give you recommendations to improve your compliance with cannabis shipping regulations (e.g. tips on how to reduce odors and ship cannabis safely). security in the Purolator network).

What should recipients know about receiving cannabis products?

Your recipient must know the requirements surrounding their delivery of cannabis. Communicate them in advance to ensure a smooth shipping experience.

From what age can one legally receive cannabis?

The minimum age to receive cannabis varies from province to province. Below is the legal age required in each province to purchase and receive cannabis.

legal age provinces
18 AB
19 BC, MB, NB, NL, NT, NS, NU, ON, PE, SK, YT
21 QC

Does the cannabis have to be received by the person who ordered it?

No. Any member of the household can receive the order, as long as they have reached the minimum age set by the province.

Does the cannabis have to be delivered to a home address?

No. You can deliver cannabis to any address in Canada. The only exception: you cannot send cannabis to a post office box, since you must provide a proof of age and a signature.

Does cannabis delivery always require a signature? Can the package just be left in a mailbox?

Cannabis cannot be placed in a letterbox, since its delivery requires a proof of age and a signature.

The regulations surrounding the shipment of cannabis products are new in Canada, and it is up to you to properly package your shipments. Keeping up to date with Health Canada’s regulations on the subject allows you to simplify your shipping experience.

Are you a licensed producer? Purolator can help you improve your cannabis product shipping processes in a number of ways: on-site visits, personalized advice and a dedicated representative available to you 24/7.

Need more advice on shipping cannabis?

Contact us

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