Digital ID verification could be required for Canadian cannabis and vaping sales starting in 2023Updated September 2022
Health Canada is considering new regulations for online cannabis and vaping sales. These changes could include a new requirement for e-commerce stores to add additional KYC (know your customer) rules before allowing customers to view the entire store and purchase.
These changes are documented in the Forward Regulatory Plan for 2022-2024 on the Health Canada website.
The goal of these new changes are to reduce the access to controlled substances like nicotine in vaping products to youth or underage persons.
Potential compliance changes
As of late 2022, Health Canada is currently considering the following changes:
- Requiring multi-step age-verification, in which consumers must first register and create a profile
- Limiting the quantity of products that can be purchased online (and in person) at one time or over a specified period
- Restricting online sales to government-operated websites with sufficient protection measures
- Establishing a licensing system for online retailers with associated fees
- Strengthening age-verification requirements at the point of delivery and limiting the delivery of vaping products ordered online to a single carrier (i.e., Canada Post)
- Prohibiting the sale of vaping products on online marketplaces or resale platforms
- Considering employing biometric-powered identification including liveness detection
- Limiting the payment for online sales to credit cards to leverage age and identity verification;
Health Canada has not yet publicly released any further guidance on which if any of these considerations will be enforced in 2023, but the first option Requiring multi-step age-verification, in which consumers must first register and create a profile and Considering employing biometric-powered identification including liveness detection seem to be strong contenders.
How to comply with a potential multi-step ID verification process
Here at Verdict, we're focusing on providing a seamless flow to comply with the possibility that ID verification will be required to create an account and purchase for a given e-commerce store.
Real ID already provides biometric and ID verification for e-commerce stores on Shopify and WooCommerce. It can send ID checks to customers on qualifing orders ID checks after checkout, or before. Either flow is optional, and there's no code required to install or set up.
We have recently released an optional registration flow to the app. This will create a "hard age gate", which will require the customer to create a profile on your store and verify their ID before they can view products and checkout.