Buy legal

Woman laughing outdoors

Why buy legal

There are many reasons why buying legal cannabis is important and a great way to get your favourite products. So, let us share some of those reasons with you.

The importance of buying legal

Legal cannabis is rigorously tested and regulated

  • Testing looks for harmful pesticides and any other harmful substances that may be present to ensure you aren’t ingesting anything that could make you sick.
  • Regulations enable any cannabis products to be recalled if any concerns arise.
  • Plus! Potency is verified and labels have accurate information, so you know for a fact how much THC and/or CBD is in your products.

There are safeguards for you, children and pets

  • Legal cannabis is packaged in very plain packaging, so it doesn’t appeal to children or teens.
  • The packaging is also child resistant, so it is tough for any child to get into, which is essential, so your little one doesn’t accidentally consume any cannabis products.
  • There are maximum THC limits on legal edible cannabis—which decreases the risks of childhood poisonings.

Health Canada requires all legal products to have accurate information on the label, which helps you make informed choices. Remember, it is your responsibility to keep cannabis secure and out of reach of children, teens and pets. Visit here to learn more about keeping your cannabis out of reach.

Your information is secure

  • Many illegal sites out there look very good, but your personal or credit card information may fall into the hands of identity thieves.

Benefits of buying legal

There are many benefits to buying legal cannabis—let us share some of them with you.

Health Canada sets industry-wide standards and rules for the growing process. Growers or Licensed Producers (LP’s) must meet safe and clean growing conditions.  

Health Canada prohibits the use of dangerous pesticides and requires testing for other contaminants such as mould, bacteria and chemicals.  When a LP’s does not follow these rules, Health Canada can recall and destroy the cannabis, fine the LP up to $1 million and remove the grower’s license.

LPs may carry multiple strains of dried cannabis, with detailed information about strains.  Legal cannabis is controlled, with THC, CBD and Terpene content properly labelled.  With illegal cannabis, consumers may not know precisely what they are getting as there is no guarantee that strains are correctly labelled, and the THC and CBD content may be unknown.

Consumers that choose legal retail stores over the illegal market help support Alberta, as a portion of every dollar that is spent at a store goes back into our communities.

All staff working in Alberta cannabis retail stores are certified as Qualified Cannabis Workers and must complete AGLC's SellSafe course specific to legal cannabis sales.

Where to buy legal cannabis

For Albertans, cannabis can be purchased legally from a licensed retail store or licensed online store:

Light green cannabis leaf

Legal vs. illegal cannabis

Buying cannabis online can be confusing. You may think you are looking at a legal website selling legal products—however, many illegal online sites trick you with information such as health warnings and other legal symbols.

What does legal cannabis look like?

You may be wondering what legal cannabis looks like? So, let’s go over three easy ways to tell if a product is legal.


THC symbol

Look for the Canadian Universal THC Symbol. Any legal cannabis sold in Alberta must contain this sign indicating THC.



Alberta legal cannabis stampLegal cannabis packaging must have an un-tampered excise stamp.

If the packaging is colourful, uses the brand name of a known food or candy product, or is visually appealing, it is not legal. Remember, plain is best.​​​​​


How to avoid illegal cannabis products

Sometimes, it can be hard to tell if you're on a legal cannabis site. Check out the table below to learn the differences between a legal and illegal site.



  • Includes Alberta address and phone number
  • No contact information or generic email only
  • Includes information on product recalls
  • Does not offer product recall information
  • Solid colour packaging that is child resistant
  • Multi-coloured packaging that isn’t child resistant and appeals to children/youth  
  • Only ships in Alberta
  • Ships anywhere in Canada
  • Includes CannabisSense banners on the homepage 
  • No CannabisSense banners on homepage
  • Each transaction has a 30g limit
  • Transactions have no purchase limit
  • Can highlight sales items
  • Offers 2 for 1 deals or sign-up and referral bonuses

Remember, the only way you can really tell if a website is legal in Alberta is to visit the Cannabis licensee search page.

The Edmonton Police Service have put together some tips to help you avoid purchasing illegal cannabis products. You can see the EPS’ complete list of tips here. Also, Health Canada has a short video to help guide you through purchasing legal cannabis—check it out here.

Light green cannabis leaf

Medical cannabis guidelines

In Canada, medical use of cannabis is legal if a specific healthcare practitioner provides an authorization. Researchers continue to explore how and why cannabis works for some people. For more information, visit the medical use of cannabis on the Government of Canada website.

Test your knowledge

Find support