Canadians are Reporting that Dispensaries are Incorrectly Weighing Weed

Complaints about underweight weed purchases are on the rise in some Canadian provinces. Are producers to blame?
Canadians Are Reporting That Dispensaries Are Incorrectly Weighing Weed
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What makes a good weed dealer? You might say the quality of the product, or consistent availability. Maybe the variety, price breaks, delivery, or a free session or sample makes them great. Regardless, there’s one thing we can all agree too: a good dealer gives you what you paid for. On Oct. 17, the Canadian government essentially became the country’s largest, legal purveyor of cannabis. In fact, in some provinces, government-run weed stores are the only game in town. But already, Canadians are reporting a problem. Dispensaries are incorrectly weighing weed, and not in the good way of giving you a heavy bag or rounding up a gram. Rather, some government-stores, customers say, are violating the cardinal rule of selling weed: not shorting your clientele.

Canadian Cannabis Consumers Say Government-Run Shops are Coming Up Short

First, it was a social media post in Nova Scotia. Then, another in New Brunswick, and another in Prince Edward Island. And soon, lots of cannabis consumers were posting pictures and videos of their cannabis purchases from government-run stores. But the posts weren’t excitement over legal access to weed, or weed porn of top-shelf flower. Instead, they were posts of people putting their weed on their own scales to show how their purchases literally came up short.

Speaking with CTV Atlantic, Adam Roop says he bought four different 1 gram packages of flower, each a different strain, from a Nova Scotia Liquor Corporation store. As mandated by Canada’s strict packaging requirements, Roop was simply handed a black plastic, disposable container covered with warnings, lab results and other data. He didn’t get to see a budtender select the buds and weigh them on a scale in front of him– a simple procedure most cannabis legislation has pushed out.

So, naturally, Roop went home and checked the weight of his weed, but found that things were out of whack. Two of the packages were light by about a tenth of a gram. The other two were almost right on target—one even hit 1.02 grams. A mixed bag, but other consumers weren’t as lucky as Roop. All they got were underweight containers.

What To Do If Your Weed Purchase Is Light

So who’s to blame for the underweight weed? According to former medical dispensary owner Heidi Chartrand, the issue is usually farther up the supply chain, with the producers who package the cannabis. She says wholesale purchases from licensed producers were often underweight, which is why she employed a scale at her shop to make sure patients got the medicine they paid for. Liquor and cannabis control boards in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island all agree with Chartrand. They’re also pointing to licensed producers, who are in charge of packaging, for the inaccurate weighs.

Health Canada, the federal agency in charge of oversight of the legal cannabis program, says that it allows a certain degree of variance in product weight. Organigram, a licensed producer in New Brunswick, shot back against customer complaints. They reminded customers that over time, cannabis buds lose moisture and dry up. Water is heavy, and evaporation could account for some of the underweight packages people are reporting.

Unfortunately, there’s not a lot customers can do about a light weed package. The NSLC is telling customers they can bring a package back to the store for a refund or exchange. But other provincial weed stores have not adopted any return or exchange policy. So for those folks, all that’s left is trust in weed karma, that those missing tenths of a gram will come back around sometime, somewhere.

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