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December 17, 2018

OPC publishes guidance for organizations and individuals related to protecting personal information collected during cannabis transactions

The Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada today published guidance to help cannabis retailers and purchasers understand their rights and obligations under Canada’s federal private sector privacy law.

The OPC recognizes the sensitive nature of cannabis-related transactions. Although cannabis is legal in Canada, it remains illegal in most jurisdictions outside of Canada. Some countries may, for example, deny entry to individuals if they know they have purchased cannabis, even lawfully.

Advice to retailers includes, for example, collecting the least amount of personal information possible. In turn, purchasers should not provide retailers with more personal information than necessary. If consumers are concerned about using a credit card, and the option is available, they could consider using cash to buy cannabis.

We thank the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner for British Columbia for granting us permission to use and adapt their guidance, Protecting personal information: Cannabis transactions.

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