Canada makes marijuana legal, and a national experiment begins

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Canada on Wednesday became the first major world economy to legalize recreational marijuana, beginning a national experiment that will alter the country's social, cultural and economic fabric, and present the nation with its biggest public policy challenge in decades.

Hours before a handful of retail outlets opened in the country's easternmost province, a federal official told AP that Canada will pardon all those with convictions for possessing up to 30 grams of marijuana, the now-legal threshold.

"It's a candy store, I like the experience", said Vincent Desjardins, a 20-year-old-student who plans to apply for a job.

Newfoundland, being the remotest province to the east, was the first to complete a sale, with a festival ambiance taking over the city by 12:00 am as people sparked up joints in the street.

Cannabis connoisseurs appear to have embraced the new system as massive queues formed outside numerous 111 legal pot shops now open around the country.

Ontario announced that there were around 38,000 orders processed, worth Can$750,000. Most notably, Ontario's online store had a mixup with its listing for "intimate" spray, meant to be used to reduce genital inflammation, which was mis-labeled as an oral product to be sprayed under the tongue. The most populous province is working on its regulations and doesn't expect stores until next spring.

Longtime pot fan Ryan Bose, 48, a Lyft driver in Toronto, said it's about time.

Nine US states have legalised recreational use of cannabis, and more than 30 have approved medical marijuana. All the years of activism paid off. Cannabis is legal in Canada and everyone should come to Canada and enjoy our cannabis.

Last Wednesday was the first day people were able to legally purchase marijuana. Some are operating government-run stores, some are allowing private retailers, some both. Canada marijuana legalization has companies chasing a green rush. In major shift, the USA says it won't ban Canada pot workers.

"Now that our neighbor 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 written statement.

As Canada welcomes legalisation, supply shortages could develop, as happened in some U.S. states when legalisation arrived. Fire and Flower Chief Executive Trevor Fencott brought his wife and three children - ages 16, 13 and 6 - for the opening, even though the kids were too young to go inside.

Ms Tobin, a longtime convenience store owner, said they will be cutting a ribbon and cake.

Canadian ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls: We are entering an unprecedented time in the history of our nation that I fear will result not only in huge rates of financial loss to investors, a huge debt on taxpayer financed health care, but also an unparalleled degree of family heartache.

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