Medical Cannabis Canada

How To Spot A Fake Online Dispensary Site

Online Dispensaries In Canada
How To Spot The Red Flags

The legalization of medical and recreational cannabis in Canada has allowed a number of dispensaries to open doors in various parts of the country. Many of these establishments have their presence online to enable people to get their products discreetly. There are others who are not in the position to move out of their houses to obtain weed and these online dispensaries serve as a boon for such people. It also saves patients from others knowing about their medical condition and gives recreational users the choice to keep their personal business private from their prying neighbors.

Marijuana Legal Canada
Source: PBS

However, let’s admit that the Internet is not devoid of fraudsters and fake sellers. Similar to ordering anything from the Internet, you need to be alert and highly cautious about anything that looks unusual. While the online dispensaries in Canada are extremely convenient as you can place your order at any time of the day and take your time before pressing the ‘add to cart’ button, fake stories are not uncommon. You can protect yourself from becoming a victim by watching out the red flags and signs in the websites. We have listed some of them below:

Pay Attention To The URL

The first thing you should check when you click open an online dispensary site is the address or URL. You will be shocked to know that most people choose to ignore this or simply pay no attention out of ignorance or carelessness. They commit a huge mistake. The URL contains some really useful information regarding the website you are visiting. So, make it a habit to check this every time you visit a new site.

If the website address contains an HTTP instead of HTTPS then this means that the website is not authentic. You should never provide your sensitive information such as credit card or debit card information to a website that starts with HTTP because this means the text can be easily manipulated, intercepted, or even stolen. HTTPS is the secure version and a reliable online dispensary address will have HTTPS in the URL like https://getwhitepalm.com/

Read The Website Address Carefully

Another important thing you need to check when looking at the website URL is whether or not the address is correctly spelled. Sometimes the scammers will build a website with a similar name of a popular business. Unless you look carefully, you won’t know there are a few letters missing because it looks so similar. Taking notice of these little things can save you from big troubles later on.

Look At The Website Design

A website says a lot about the purpose for which it was made. It’s true that the fraudsters today have become smarter and they don’t mind building great looking websites to confuse people. These sites look so real and authentic and it’s hard to tell by simply looking at them. They may have all the cannabis related products listed in the site, but no real stocks, hence the order you place never arrives after the payment is made.

Look closer and more deeply to find the difference before placing an order. A fake website, no matter how impressive, will lack a blog and even if it has one, it will most likely not have any valuable content in it. The website will also lack a Contact Us page with Google’s address of the real warehouse. They will not have 24/7 customer support and even if there is some form of support, you will only get programmed messages, not the real person talking to you.

Look For Spelling Mistakes And Errors

Read the website content or any information provided to see the quality of English. Are there too many spelling errors? Does the content look inconsistent? Can you spot grammatical mistakes and other errors? If there’s a blog, try to read one of the articles. Does it look like a spin version of any article? Does it make sense at all? If you notice any of the issues mentioned here, we highly recommend that you stay away from these sources.

Badly Maintained Site

A business that is serious about cannabis will have a well designed and properly maintained site, and not something that looks like it’s put together by a kindergartner. Any authentic Canadian online dispensaries will go out of their way to keep the navigation simple and easy with proper maintenance. There will not be any bad pages or “link not found” issues. On the other hand, the carelessness of the appearance of the website raises another concern. In this case, we would suggest that if a site looks poorly maintained, avoid it even if it belongs to an authorized vendor.

Check Product Description

If a website is authentic then it will contain all the useful and detailed information about the products listed so that you know exactly what you are getting. Whether you are looking at CBD or THC content, the website should have all the relevant strain information. If the site only has minimum information regarding the products, then do yourself a favor and stay away.

CBD and THC
Source: The Green Fund

Lost Strains On Offer

Fraudsters usually don’t do their research well and they will put anything on the website without checking the authenticity. To avoid scams, we suggest that you carefully go through the product list on the website. Can you see lost or dead strains on the product list? Some strains were popular in the 70s or 80s but they are not available anymore. If you see such products offered, then you should immediately smell a scam.

Is There A High Minimum Order

A legitimate online dispensary will usually have a minimum order that they will ship out. If you see a high minimum order forcing to order too many products or more quantities than you need, then we would suggest that you avoid the site.

Although this is not necessarily a red flag, it could be a possible scam. It is always better be safe than sorry.