The Better Business Bureau (BBB) is warning customers about fraudulent online cannabis retailers.
In April, BBB serving Mainland BC 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.
One complainant told the bureau that he had placed an order worth $440, but he never received the cannabis products.
The Canadian Hemp Co. does not have a license for businesses operating Marijuana Sales and Services from the Liquor and Cannabis Regulation Branch, the bureau notes.
The address listed on their website belongs to another unrelated business, and BBB visited the location on August 19, to find a salon operating there.
The City of New Westminster does not have any records for a business license belonging to Canadian Hemp Co. as well.
The company has not responded to BBB’s queries about their location, business model and competency license and has since received an F rating. An alert has also been added to their Business Profile to warn potential consumers.
In another case stemming from a BBB Scam Tracker report, a Port Alberni resident shared that they lost $8500 while trying to purchase cannabis on Hello Ganja, a cannabis retail website claiming to have its operations in Fort Worth, Texas.
The victim was persuaded to make the payment based on messages and alerts on the website that offered special pricing for customers who purchased large amounts of cannabis. The money was paid by email transfer. The victim has since been unsuccessful in connecting with the retailer concerning the status of their order or with securing a refund.
“It is important that consumers make the extra effort to research companies before conducting transactions, especially when dealing with an online retailer”, explained Karla Laird, Manager for Community and Public Relations at BBB serving Mainland BC.
“Products like cannabis are regulated for a reason. Do not get distracted by attractive deals that lead you to make either illegal or risky purchases, as you will lose the protection of the law if you stumble into a scam.”