Canada becomes first major economy to legalise recreational cannabis

Get Ready for a Marijuana Explosion

With seven National Hockey League franchises across the country and Toronto being home to Major League Baseball's Blue Jays and the National Basketball Association's Raptors, as Wednesday approached there was discussion about what impact, if any, the cannabis legalisation would bring.

Canopy Chief Executive Officer Bruce Linton rang in the first sales to residents Ian Power and Nikki Rose.

Coalition spokesperson Pamela McColl said she believes legalization normalizes a unsafe substance and positions Canada to be the base of the marijuana industry's global expansion.

Medical marijuana has been legal in the country since 2001.

Some are only allowing government-run stores to sell the drug, others have agreed to give licenses to private retailers.

"The event happens, and then people say, 'Ah, that wasn't really that big a deal.' Then there is profit taking", he told Yahoo Canada Finance on Wednesday. In the Netherlands, where marijuana tourism is rampant in Amsterdam, weed is in fact illegal, but personal use has been decriminalized.

Though the province now only has one BC Cannabis Store open, and no privately operated stores have received final licensing approval, British Columbians don't need to travel to Kamloops to buy marijuana legally.

Here's what Canadian legalization looks like so far.

He has also said that his late brother Michel was facing marijuana possession charges for a "tiny amount" of pot before his death in an avalanche in 1998, and that this influenced his decision to propose legalising cannabis.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has defended legalisation - the fulfilment of a 2015 campaign promise - as meant to protect young people and to shut down drug dealers.

"The prohibition on marijuana has not worked in this country", Trudeau told reporters in Ottawa.

This is the day marijuana advocates and cannabis users have been waiting for.

But provinces and businesses have struggled to prepare, and legalization was pushed back from original expectations of a July start to enable setting up distribution and sales networks. The most populous province is working on its regulations and does not expect any stores to open until next spring. No private store licenses have been issued so far and many municipalities are waiting until after local elections on October 20 to give their approvals for stores, province Minister of Public Safety Mike Farnworth said.

Scores of customers braved the cold for hours outside Tweed, a pot boutique in St John's, Newfoundland that opened at midnight, to buy their first grams of legal cannabis.

Even in provinces with more shops, many shelves are expected to soon be empty because of a shortage of product.

Universal healthcare and legal weed?

Canada became the largest country in the world Wednesday to legalize recreational marijuana nationwide, and there are new questions about the effects this will have on the United States.

It ended the nearly century-old prohibition on marijuana in this country but it hasn't come without opponents and challenges along the way.

Law enforcement of those driving under the influence of marijuana could be patchy.

According to crowdsourced data collected by Statistics Canada over the past 10 and a half months, the average price per gram for medicinal and black market cannabis has been going for an average of $7.34 on the prairies and $6.86 across Canada.

"We have talked to stores in our county...and anecdotally people have said about 20 to 30 percent of store purchases in Whatcom County are done by Canadians coming from outside".

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