Published: Wed, October 17, 2018
Markets | By Otis Pena

Cannabis becomes legal in Canada

Cannabis becomes legal in Canada

Although cannabis becomes legal on Wednesday, only one legal dispensary will be opening its doors in British Columbia.

In a report from the Toronto Star's Ottawa Bureau Bruce Campion-Smith writes that the federal government will announce Wednesday that it intends to "move quickly to grant pardons to Canadians with past criminal convictions for simple possession of pot under 30 grams".

The use of medical marijuana has been legal in Canada since 2001 and Justin Trudeau's government has spent two years working toward expanding that to include recreational marijuana.

Uruguay was first was the first country to legalise marijuana, in 2013.

Tom Clarke, an illegal pot dealer for three decades, was among the first to make a legal sale in Canada when his store opened at midnight local time in Portugal Cove, Newfoundland.

"I am living my dream".

Mr. Power had waited not just hours - but years - for the chance, after more than three decades of black-market marijuana purchases. He wrote in his high school yearbook that his dream was to open a cafe in Amsterdam, the Dutch city where people have legally smoked weed in coffee shops since the 1970s.

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A lack of Day 1 selection has been a concern for retailers across the country, even as relatively few brick-and-mortar stores will be open to kick off the new era.

"We're working in conjunction with the City of Kamloops to determine what steps we will be taking in the future, and also the province has a cannabis enforcement team that they'll be using to go to these illegal cannabis stores and doing enforcement with them", Shelkie says.

The federal government set the minimum legal age for consumption at 18, but most provinces and territories have raised it to 19, except Quebec and Alberta.

"Now that our neighbour to the north is opening its legal cannabis market, the longer we delay, the longer we miss out on potentially significant economic opportunities for OR and other states across the country", he said in a statement. The province is selling the drug through an official website that's launching Wednesday. The brick-and-mortar stores would be privately-run.

Steve Hawkins, executive director of the Marijuana Policy Project, a Washington-based lobbying organization that has been pressing for legalization since 1995, said it is time for the U.S.to follow Canada's lead.

As Canada welcomes legalization, supply shortages could develop, as happened in some U.S. states when legalization arrived.

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