Canada's Privacy Commissioner advises buying legal weed with cash, not cards

Dec 19 2018, 8:22 am

While weed may now be legal across the country, Canada’s Privacy Commissioner is advising those planning to purchase products at properly licensed stores to pay with cash, not cards.

In a statement, Commissioner Daniel Therrien offered some tips for those buying legal cannabis, in an attempt to help them understand their legal rights around privacy of information.

“Cannabis is illegal in most jurisdictions outside of Canada,” Therrien said. “The personal information of cannabis users is therefore very sensitive.”

For example, he added, “some countries may deny entry to individuals if they know they have purchased cannabis, even lawfully.”

As such, Therrien said there are steps cannabis consumer can take to protect themselves from potential legal trouble that may stem from them being linked to cannabis use, when travelling in areas where it is illegal.

While he conceded that those purchasing cannabis legally in Canada may have to show some form of identification to confirm their age and eligibility, Thierren says buyers should “not provide the retailer with more personal information than necessary.”

He noted that if someone is concerned about using their credit card to make a purchase, they should consider using cash when and where they can.

And for consumers that are asked to provide personal information to a retailer for the purposes of joining a membership club or mailing list, “consider the risks involved, and ask how your personal information will be stored.”

When personal information is required, Thierren said the onus is on retailers “to protect the personal information in their custody or under their control by making appropriate security arrangements to prevent unauthorized access, disclosure, use, copying, or modification.”

This, he added, “means ensuring physical, technological, and organizational security measures are in place to store personal information.”

See also
Eric ZimmerEric Zimmer

+ Grow
+ News & Policy