Where to purchase medical cannabis in Canada

Published on October 7, 2022
Doctor writing on prescription blank and bottle with medical cannabis on table close up
There is no such things as a medical marijuana card in Canada, so how do patients buy their medical-use cannabis? (Africa Studio/Adobe Stock)

Medical cannabis has been legally available to Canadian patients since 2001, and more broadly through licensed retailers since 2013, but that doesn’t necessarily mean navigating the system is easy.

Unlike other prescription drugs, medical cannabis isn’t prescribed at all and you can’t pick it up at the pharmacy. Rather, its use is authorized by a doctor—and not necessarily your doctor either, since many GPs are still hesitant to advise on cannabis for therapeutic uses

Once you’re authorized to buy medical cannabis, your clinic will set you up with a medical retailer. These sellers are online only, there are currently no in-person dispensaries for medical use.

Broadly, there are two types of online medical retailers: Farm-to-sale retailers primarily sell their own products, although they might offer a limited selection of products from their partners, and marketplace-style retailers, that offer a selection of products from a variety of sources.

Which is better: Farm-to-sale or marketplace? 

What’s best depends on what you’re looking for. If you already know what you like and find yourself easily overwhelmed by choice, then a single farm-to-sale provider could be for you. But if you prefer to sample products from multiple providers, you’re likely better off with a marketplace model. 

In any case, like everything these days, both types of retailers can experience product shortages, stoppages and delays, so it’s a good idea to ask pointed questions about stock quality and consistency before you sign up with anyone.

How to get medical cannabis in Canada (from a licensed doctor)

A good clinic will offer patients unbiased advice on where to send their authorization but it is still important to do your due diligence. The good news is that you don’t have to stick with a single medical retailer unless you want to. 

You can ask to have your authorization split between two or more providers, for instance, two farm-to-sale LPs or two marketplaces, or a combination of both. Or, you can move your authorization papers from supplier to supplier in sequence to sample different wares from different providers. 

You should always feel empowered to choose any, and as many, retailers to meet your healthcare needs.

Where to purchase medical marijuana in Canada

Not sure which providers are best for your medical cannabis needs? We’ve got you. Here are the deets on six of Canada’s better-established medical retailers.

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Medical Cannabis by Shoppers

Retailer type: Marketplace

Number of brands listed: 50+

Shipping: Free on orders over $99

Discounts: Frequent sales and price drops

Although you can enjoy a wide variety of products from Medical Cannabis by Shoppers (MCbyS)—which, yes, is backed by the Loblaw-owned Shoppers pharmacy—don’t expect to walk into your local pharmacy for your medical marijuana any time soon. Like all medical retailers, this one is entirely online. 

Still, if you like the idea of getting your medicine from a trusted brand that also has a hand in advancing cannabis research, then MCbyS might be for you. Well-stocked in flower, oils and capsules, MCbyS also offers a selection of concentrates and edibles, plus a smattering of topicals, sublingual strips, suppositories, transdermal patches, and bath bombs.


Retailer type: Farm-to-sale

Shipping: Free on orders over $150

Discounts: 25% off for new and renewing patients, for referrals and for clients earning under $30k/year; 10% off for seniors; 50% off for patients under 19 years of age

Looking to feel good about your life choices? Aqualitas’ small-batch and organic crops are sustainably grown using aquaculture and living soil and are Clean Green Certified.

The company is also a proud supporter of diversity initiatives, and no, that’s not just window dressing—co-founder and CEO Myrna Gillis was a well-established lawyer and advocate for human rights and disability laws before helming the company. Aqualitas regularly contributes to the LGBTQ+ community and boasts a workforce that is 43% female. Along with the usual flower, vape cartridges and edibles, Aqualitas also offers salt soaks, bath bombs, and suppositories.

Canna Farms

Retailer type: Farm-to-sale

Shipping: Free on orders over $99

Discounts: 25% off for eligible products for children and for patients earning under $30k/year; 10% off for seniors; $50 annual renewal credit; $25 referral credit

One of the first medical retailers in Canada, CannaFarms has been serving patients since 2013. Although limited to its own products, CannaFarms offers something in just about every product category. The retailer boasts a variety of flower, a selection of infused chocolates, at least seven types of concentrates, several vape cartridges, and at least one suppository.

CannaFarms is also particularly invested in helping veterans, offering priority registration, pre-approval coverage and dedicated support for former members of the Canadian Armed Forces, among other perks.

Hybrid Pharm

Retailer type: Marketplace

Number of brands listed: 30+

Shipping: Free for orders over $75 or within 50km of Ottawa

Discounts: Seniors and ODSP/low income 10%; direct billing for veterans; pharmacy patients 25% compassionate pricing

Both a compounding pharmacy and a medical retailer, Hybrid Pharms offers medical marijuana in just about every product category, including transdermal patches, sublingual strips, quick-release tablets, suppositories and seeds, in addition to its standard selection of flower, oils, capsules, edibles and vapes. 

Backed by actual pharmacists, Hybrid Pharm is able to do what few other providers can—offer medical expertise. This is one of the only places in Canada where patients can have their medical cannabis authorization and pharmaceutical prescriptions all in one location.

Mendo Medical

Retailer type:Marketplace

Number of brands listed: 50+

Shipping: Free on orders over $150

Discounts: Compassionate pricing program offers 10% off for people receiving disability benefits or earning under $30k/year

With an impressive selection of live resin, rosin, bubble hash, and temple balls from brands with names like Nugz, Legacy Market, and Lot 420, Mendo is clearly geared toward both experienced and legacy market consumers.

Mendo is touted for its affordable bulk buys, offering a variety of 7g, 14g, and 28g bags of whole flower. The retailer also carries pre-rolls, suppositories, a good variety of topicals, and other hard-to-source items such as seeds and clones.


Retailer type: Farm-to-sale

Shipping: Free on orders over $99

Discounts: 20% off for patients earning under $30k/year; 15% for active C.A.R.P. members; 20% off for patients 18 years and under

For the patient who has never inhaled and doesn’t want to start now, Opticann’s neatly packaged and highly processed products offer few clues that there are plant ingredients inside. You won’t find flower, concentrates, high-THC, or accessories here. This provider is best for patients who want the benefits of medical cannabis, but not the cannabis itself.

Opticann focuses instead on its CB4 formulations, which merge CBD-rich products with pharmaceutical technology to increase efficacy and absorption. At the time of writing, Opticann offered six products, all of them CBD-dominant: two types of softgels, a pack of sublingual strips, a muscle gel, a face gel, and a skin cream. 

*Note from the editor: This is not an exhaustive list of medical retailers in Canada. If you’d like to nominate your favourite seller, email

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Devon Scoble
Devon Scoble
Formerly a senior staff editor for Leafly Canada, Devon is a freelance writer, editor and content strategist focusing on health and lifestyle stories. Find her online at or at her local cannabis store, stocking up on mango haze flower and low-dose edibles.
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