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Canada may have legalized the use of recreational cannabis (sometimes called marijuana) back in October 2018, but delivery providers have had a longer period of time to prepare for shipping cannabis. The road to legalization started back in 2001 when Canada allowed mail-ordered medical cannabis, which required strict regulations and special handling. Since 2018, delivery providers have used many of the original regulations as a baseline on how to ship, handle and receive cannabis extracts, cannabis topicals, and edibles.
To ship cannabis legally and safely, there are specific rules you must adhere to. But, that doesn’t mean it needs to be confusing. In the copy below, we answer your top questions about shipping cannabis within Canada.
However, please remember, these rules are often amended and you’re solely responsible for knowing the most up-to-date regulations and information. We’ve provided links to some official government sources to help you navigate shipping cannabis.
*Purolator does not warrant that this Infographic can meet all of its customer’s obligations and requirements and makes no representation or warranty with regard to its reliability, precision or accuracy.
What businesses can ship cannabis to individuals? †
There have been changes since the legalization of cannabis on who is allowed to ship it. For example, some private businesses can now ship recreational cannabis permanently, or COVID-19 restrictions have allowed for temporary deliveries to customers who are individuals.
Shipping rules differ province-to-province and you are responsible for knowing what is legal. For the most up-to-date list, please view the information laid out by Health Canada.
Following all necessary regulations, what can a licensed retailer do when shipping cannabis? †
- Ship cannabis flowers, plants and seeds with any Canadian courier
- Ship cannabis extracts, cannabis topicals and edible cannabis with any courier
- Ship cannabis products from province-to-province
- Send cannabis products to any address (excluding PO boxes)
How much cannabis can a licensed retailer ship at one time? †
There are different limits on the amount of cannabis you can ship, depending on the product type.
Medical cannabis up to 30 x the patient’s daily prescription (for example, if a patent is prescribed 2 grams a day, they can receive 60 grams in at one time).
For recreational cannabis (including flowers, extracts, topicals and edibles), cannabis plants and cannabis seeds, please refer to the Cannabis Act, which outlines all of the up-to-date legislations around the sale and distribution of recreational cannabis.
What CAN’T be done when shipping cannabis? †
- Ship cannabis to the U.S. (regardless of whether cannabis is legal in that state or not)
- Take cannabis into the U.S. to deliver by hand
- Ship or distribute cannabis to underage individuals. (see age restrictions by province below)
Even though certain states in the U.S. have legalized cannabis, it is illegal to ship or carry Canadian cannabis outside of Canada. You can face serious penalties both in Canada and the U.S., from a hefty fine to a jail sentence.
What are some of the packaging and labeling requirements for mailing cannabis? †
Health Canada has strict regulations on cannabis deliveries to ensure its safe transit. All deliveries must follow these and additional packaging and labeling requirements:
- Child-proof. Products must have child-resistant packaging.
- Excise stamp. An excise stamp on the packaging is proof that duties were paid.
- Odourless. A container with barrier properties or bag with metallized interior liner stops odour from escaping.
- Security feature. A tamper-evident seal assures consumers that the product has not been opened.
- Unmarked packaging. Packaging must not provide any indication of its contents.
For additional packaging and labelling requirements, please refer to Health Canada’s website.
Does cannabis have any specific declaration or mailing requirements? †
Yes, couriers need proof of age and an adult signature is requiredfrom the recipient. The age restriction for receiving cannabis varies, province by province.
What are some of the rules for individuals looking to ship cannabis in Canada? †
Shipping cannabis in Canada rules and regulations can have similarities and differences between individuals and licensed retailers. It is the responsibility of the shipper to follow all rules and regulations for their respective province. Please note, this is not an exhaustive list of all of the rules and regulations, and individuals should refer to the Cannabis Act for full details. If purchasing cannabis online for delivery, there are several things to look out for to ensure you are buying your product from legal sources.
Do you have other questions about shipping cannabis in Canada? †
If you’ve read the regulations, rules and law on shipping cannabis to legal-age consumers and are ready to start shipping cannabis, contact Purolator.
If you’re looking for more information on shipping (or receiving) cannabis, visit the Government of Canada Cannabis Act.
*Information provided in this Infographic is not an inclusive list of all the cannabis shipping regulations, laws, and restrictions. For a full list of regulations and restrictions, please read Government of Canada Cannabis regulations.
†Purolator does not warrant that this Infographic can meet all of its customer’s obligations and requirements and makes no representation or warranty with regard to its reliability, precision, or accuracy. Purolator has made every effort to ensure content is accurate; however, the content is subject to change without notice due to changes in legislation or regulatory requirements and as a result, this Infographic is being provided for information purposes only. Furthermore, it is the licensed seller’s responsibility to ensure that shipments containing any regulated product comply with all applicable legislation; including seeking any legal or other professional advice they feel is needed.