The cannabis industry is seeing more and more demographics than ever. Those with ailments or conditions, and the elderly are turning to cannabis more frequently. These certain demographics, especially those who are new to the cannabis scene can easily be targeted for scams. That is not to say those who are well versed in their cannabis aren’t a target as well. Snake oil salesmen are on the prowl, they are smarter than you think, and they have technology on their side to deceive you. They are also constantly changing up their MO. With the rising sales and popularity of cannabis, along with the convenience of online purchasing, this is a scam artist’s dream. Here are some scams to keep an eye out for, and some helpful tips to stay safe when it comes to searching for cannabis.
Cannabis scams 101: Dodgy Online Sales and Sketchy Websites
The most common cannabis scams to watch out for happening today, in any industry really, are online scams. The problem is, anyone can fabricate or impersonate a website. It’s your responsibility to practice due diligence, to make sure the sites you are on are legitimate. Don’t give your financial information to anyone you aren’t sure of and don’t waste your money. You also want to make sure that what ever you are purchasing the supplier is a reputable source, especially since this is something you will be smoking, consuming, or ingesting. Check for these hints of legitimacy:
- Proper spelling and grammar;
- Test for broken links, especially those purportedly linking to a social media page and on the checkout page
- Ensure that the currency is in CND or US dollars as opposed to foreign or cryptocurrency
- Make sure the taxes are included, and review if there’s a discount, compared to the normal purchase price (if it seems to good to be true, it probably is)
- If there is an address on the website, check it out on Google Maps, to make sure it’s an actual store front, not a residential.
- Use a credit card if you can for online purchases, you have more protection against scams
Investment scams involving cannabis is definitely something to watch for. When it comes to stock market scams, you will hear the typical promises of high rates of return with low or no risk. They will promise you the sky and also indicate that there is some kind of time factor involved, like ‘You must get in now.’ Having some common sense is a big factor here and doing your research, trying to be as knowledgeable as you can on the topic, especially if you are handing over a lot of money, or potential life-savings. Be on the lookout for unlicensed sellers, guaranteed returns and signs of excessive hype. Check the background, registration and license status of anyone recommending marijuana-related investments.
Who can you trust?
Look out for customer reviews, because if there is a company out there that has supplied bad product, or if someone has been scammed by a certain fake profile or website, someone will be talking about it The cannabis community looks out for each other.