Canada legalises cannabis for recreational use

Canada became the second country in the world to legalize recreational marijuana with stores opening at midnight Wednesday to serve queues of keen pot smokers.

The ability of the legal market to displace the black market rests heavily on price - an analysis conducted by the consulting firm Deloitte pre-legalization put the average price of illegal weed at $8.24 across Canada. The nation's most populous province is working on its regulations and doesn't expect stores to operate until spring. "We just made history", said the 46-year-old Ian Power, who bought a gram in St John's, Newfoundland to become one of the first people to buy the drug legally in the country.

At the stroke of midnight on October 17, Canada became only the second country in the world to legalize recreational marijuana.

The Vienna-based International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) said, "The legalization by Canada of cannabis for non-medical purposes is incompatible with the legal obligations incumbent on states parties under the international drug control framework".

The New Brunswick provincial online sales outlet Cannabis NB reports an average of 700 live users each hour viewing its website and several hundred purchases in its first few hours of operation.

In provinces that will only allow government-run stores, small mom-and-pop dispensaries will be closed, and small-scale cultivators could also eventually be outcompeted by Big Marijuana.

"We're not legalising cannabis because we think it's good for our health", Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said.

Green Party leader Mike Schreiner also criticized the government for not passing its cannabis bill before legalization.

For the most part, however, provinces will have one federally run online shopping destination.

Which is why, despite now being legal in Canada, not many - if any - in this province are smoking legal weed sold in Ontario tonight. Canada has one of the highest rates of cannabis use in the world, particularly among young people, so there's already a huge market for it there.

Roderick said the store would not be releasing sales statistics at this time. The most expensive gram of legal weed in Quebec for now is Aurora's "Banana Split", priced at $11.30.

"Oct. 17 will. probably be the least elegant day", Canopy's CEO Linton said.

Law enforcement going forward could be patchy.

Another 13 states have decriminalized the use of cannabis, meaning possession offenses usually result in fines, not jail time.

But many large police departments will forego the C$5,000 device, Adam Palmer, president of the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police, told reporters on Monday.

He said the new law was created to keep drugs out of the hands of minors and profits out of the hands of criminals.

"This is awesome. I've been waiting my whole life for this", Clarke said.

  • Leroy Wright