Nova Scotia

NSLC fixes website after internet videos show how underage users can order pot online

By modifying the cookies associated with the Nova Scotia Liquor Corporation website, users found a way to access the cannabis catalogue without an age-verified code.

NSLC has since implemented measures to prevent bypassing the age verification process

A spokesperson for NSLC says even if the cookies are changed to access the cannabis catalogue online, people still have to prove they are 19 with photo ID at the time of delivery. (Andrew Vaughan/Canadian Press)

One day after recreational marijuana became legal in Canada, internet users found a way to sidestep the initial age-verification process for online pot purchases in Nova Scotia.

According to at least one video tutorial online, the Nova Scotia Liquor Corporation's cannabis catalogue could be accessed without an age-verified code. This was done by modifying the cookies associated with the site.

The NSLC has since implemented measures to prevent users bypassing the first step in the age verification process.

Cookies are small pieces of text that improve users' experience of websites. Usually they save information like preferences or past online activity on a specific site.

For example, if you add something to your online cart while shopping online but don't finish the purchase, it may still be there when you return to the site using the same computer.

Usual process involves visiting store

Under the NSLC's rules, online cannabis shoppers are first supposed to visit a bricks and mortar store in person to show ID proving they are over 19 years old. A staff member would then give them a code to access the site.

Beverley Ware, a spokesperson for the NSLC, said even if an underage person modified cookies to access the cannabis site, NSLC has a two-step verification process.

"Customers must provide valid photo ID proving they live at the address and that they are at least 19 years of age," Ware said in an email.

"We would like to remind Nova Scotians this is about responsible behaviour. Just as you would not provide liquor or cigarettes to a minor, it is illegal and irresponsible to provide cannabis to a minor."