Canada legalises recreational use of cannabis

Cannabis plants grow in a greenhouse in Pelham Ontario Canada

He plans to frame it. Power was first in line at a store in St. John's, Newfoundland. I'm not even going to smoke it.

"It feels great to have it happen in my home town", Power said.

A formal announcement was planned for later Wednesday.

The vote took place in June, after which Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau had announced October 17 as the date when the regime would come into effect. The goal is to better reflect society's changing opinion about marijuana and bring black market operators into a regulated system.

Premier Doug Ford took several swipes at the Trudeau government's legalization of marijuana during remarks to the Ontario Police Association Annual General Meeting. A festive atmosphere broke out, with some customers lighting up on the sidewalk and motorists honking their horns in support as they drove by the crowd. "We just made history". "I can't believe we did it".

Medical marijuana has been legal in Canada since 2001.

But the waiting period and the $631 cost of applying for a pardon, known as a record suspension, have proven hard for some people saddled with records. "I am so happy to be living in Canada right now instead of south of the border".

The official said Tuesday that those convicted of possessing of 30 grams or less of marijuana will be eligible for a pardon, but they will have to apply for one. His dad, Don, said he was thrilled he was among the first customers of legal pot. We've only been discussing this for 50 years. The most populous province is working on its regulations and does not expect any stores to open until next spring.

Ryan Bose, 48, a Lyft driver in Toronto, said it's about time. That said, the federal government and provinces and territories share responsibility for its implementation.

The wind and cold didn't deter a few hundred people from lining up around the block at the private store on Water Street, the main commercial drag in the Newfoundland and Labrador capital.

Ian Power, a cannabis advocate, tells VOCM News this moment is significant because it is a step towards ending the stigma towards people who use cannabis.

Uruguay fully legalized the drug back in 2013 under then-President José Mujica.

In total, Statistics Canada says 5.4 million Canadians will buy cannabis from legal dispensaries in 2018 - about 15% of the population.

But the lack of retail stores doesn't mean would-be buyers will have to drive to Kamloops for legal recreational pot.

In the run-up to legalization, cannabis companies have been on a tear, as companies struck corporate deals while others went public creating an investor frenzy. The province is selling the drug through an official website that's launching Wednesday. "The prices are very comparable", Thomas Clarke, owner of THC Distribution store, said.

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