Although there weren’t many reasons to buy from Ontario Cannabis Store, I had to give them a try. After-all we have waited for so long to be able to purchase cannabis for recreational purposes legally and currently this is the only option we’ve got!
At the time of writing this post there are around 30 strains of flowers, one capsule and one type of pre-rolled joints available. Flower prices range from $8.4 to $12.5 per gram with small savings for larger product packages.
Most of the flowers are listed under made-up brand names so its not easy to find information on them but some items like a strains named Dreamweaver and Solar Power specify their generic name in the description in form of “similar to …” or “comparable to …” which let me do a more educated decision but it meant I have to read the details of every unknown name hoping it has an indication what its generic name would be.
Making a decision based on the provided data also had its problems. Some of their products have specified an unusually wide range for their THC and CBD content. “Solei Balance” is going to have CBD content of 4.8-15.7%, “SYMBL Dreamweaver” has THC content of 10-16% and “Palm Tree CBD” has both THC and CBD listed as between 4 to 13%. With margins of error greater than 50% I find it ironic to read the site’s tagline “Shop legal. It’s better to know what’s in your cannabis.”.
Product images were of the product packaging so they were useless in providing anything useful. Terpenes are listed for each product which was helpful but I wished it would have provided their relative percentage as well.
After making my choices I found another problem to deal with. Not all the products are available in the quantities I want! It’s not like I can order the amount I want from the product I want. The products only come in standard sizes (1gr, 3.5gr, 7gr and 15gr) and in most cases the smaller quantities are sold out. Unfortunately there doesn’t seem to be any way to know the available sizes on the list page and/or filter products based the quantity needed. So once again I needed to go through products one by one to find ones that I’m interested in and are available in smaller quantities.
The shopping cart tracks the weight of the products added and does not allow checking out more than 30 grams at a time. The site asks for name, shipping address, email address and phone number and accepts major credit cards as its only accepted method of payment. It charges $5.65 flat rate for shipping to anywhere in Ontario with no minimum purchase. One thing I was surprised to see is that it did not ask for an ID to verify my age at the time of ordering.
I placed my order on Tuesday afternoon. It was shipped the next day and I received the package mid-day Thursday. The package had to be received and signed by someone 19 and over and the delivery person verified it by asking for an ID. This fast and cheap shipping is probably the biggest (and only?) advantage OCS has over the gray-market online dispensaries.
The entire order arrived in a bubble-lined envelope with no smell or indication of its content. The sender was a PO box in Oakville and the only thing which can give its content away is the “19+ Signature Required” sign which I don’t believe is currently used for anything other than this purpose.
The products are all come in individual containers. From the ones I ordered, the packages from Redecan was the least wasteful ones and even those were too much. The rest, especially the products from Tweed made me feel guilty leaving such a large footprint environmentally for such small gain! I honestly wished they could just use a small Ziploc bag instead of manufacturing fancy but useless metal boxes with fake bottoms to make it look more appealing! Anyways now I understand the inflated prices and overhead!
Although on the website they list products with ranges specified for their THC and CBD, the products received have exact percentages specified. The products I received mostly landed mid-to-lower end of THC/CBD ranges specified on the website. They have packaging date printed with no expiry dates. The buds were drier than what I’m used to with no humidity control in the package and although I wasn’t familiar with these strains I felt they lacked the normal level for terpenes.
To be honest, I’m a bit disappointed. Sure, it is the fastest option we’ve got in absence of physical dispensaries and it’s helpful to know the exact amount of THC and CBD in your weed but the selection was limited, the prices were high and for the price I really hoped for better quality and not just fancier packaging. I look forward to a better future when private dispensaries will hopefully teach them how its done!