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Beware of this cannabis company with a Metro Vancouver address, says BBB

Consumers allege that they made purchases of cannabis and cannabis products through the company's website and either received something they did not order or nothing at all.
Cannabis / Photo: UNSPLASH

The Better Business Bureau for Metro Vancouver has issued a warning about a cannabis company that uses a New Westminster address that is actually a salon.

In April, the BBB says it started receiving several consumer inquiries and complaints about Canadian Hemp Co., an online cannabis retailer with a New Westminster address listed on its website.

The consumers alleged that they made purchases of cannabis and cannabis products through the company's website and either received something they did not order or nothing at all.

"I placed an order on their website, but I still haven't received it, so it's clear it was never shipped,” a consumer from Chelmsford, Ont. wrote to the BBC. “They walked away with $440 of my money. Every time I try to contact them, they just ignore me."

The BBB said it conducted an investigation that revealed the following:

  • Canadian Hemp Co. does not have a licence for businesses operating Marijuana Sales and Services from the Liquor and Cannabis Regulation Branch.
  • The address listed on their website belongs to another unrelated business. BBB visited the location on Aug. 19, 2020 and found that a salon was based there.
  • The City of New Westminster does not have any records for a business license belonging to Canadian Hemp Co.
  • The website has grammar and punctuation errors and also encourages Canadian consumers to make payments via bitcoin.

“The company has not responded to BBB's queries about their location, business model and competency license and has since received an F rating,” said the BBB in a statement. “An alert has also been added to their Business Profile to warn potential consumers.”

For eligible consumers planning to purchase cannabis, BBB is offering the following tips:

Protect yourself and your money. Since cannabis is so highly regulated, it is in the best interest of both your health and legal rights as a consumer, to purchase from licensed companies, as they are held accountable for the products you receive. Check the BC Liquor and Cannabis Regulation Branch to see if the cannabis retailer you are considering to purchase from is on the list of licensed retailers in the province. Consumers can also check OrgBook BC or the province's licensing map to find legally registered non-medical cannabis stores, as well as legal public and private cannabis retail stores. Licensed private retailers may sell cannabis and cannabis accessories, however, they are required to display a valid licence where it is visible to the public.

Know the advertiser. While some of the best deals are only available online, many sketchy online retailers advertise great deals that fail to measure up to the promotional hype. Before completing a transaction, especially if the retailer is located outside of Canada, research the company's name, address and contact information to determine its reliability and trustworthiness on Proceed with caution if the company has an F rating or if you cannot find a BBB Business Profile for them.

Shop with a credit card. In case of a fraudulent transaction, a credit card provides additional protections. It is easier to dispute charges that you did not approve. Debit cards, prepaid cards, cryptocurrency and gift cards do not have the same protections as a credit card. If you tried to cancel an order or you are unable to get a refund within 15 days, contact your credit card provider with the details of the transaction and request a reversal of the charges.

Read more from the New West Record