Recreational marijuana becomes legal in Canada

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Canada became the first industrialized nation to legalize recreational cannabis on Wednesday, but a lawful buzz will be hard to come by in its biggest cities like Toronto and Vancouver, where stores are not yet open. The federal government will have to license more industrial growers to grow its new legal recreational market. It's also illegal for travellers to bring marijuana into Canada - despite legalization. "I'm elated. I'm so excited, I can't stop smiling".

In Cape Breton, platinum record-selling fiddler Ashley MacIsaac was among the first buyers, while in Toronto revellers attended a "Wake and Bake" party with music, a glass pipe blower and campfire treats.

"Legalisation will open the doors to a dynamic, sophisticated industry that will create new jobs, new opportunities for businesses, and new revenues for government", echoed Deloitte in a report. "But we expect to receive more shortly". Individuals can only grow up to four plants for their own use.

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.

Smoking or vaping of cannabis is allowed in public places where tobacco is permitted in many provinces or territories, but others such as Manitoba have a ban on public consumption.

Uruguay was the first country to legalise marijuana.

How well it goes could have an impact on Canada's next election in 2019, and on whether other countries follow in its footsteps.

"When people start to see the consequences (of legalization) they will blame Trudeau's failures for it", opposition Tory leader Andrew Scheer commented.

In the U.S., recreational cannabis has been legalised in eight states, while countries such as the Netherlands and Spain have decriminalised pot possession.

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"It did not crash", he told a conference call with reporters. About 4.9 million already smoke.

The Quebec government has said that cannabis in their provincially run stores will be priced as low at $5.25 per gram, but on day one of legalization, the cheapest pot available in the SQDC seems to be Aphria's adult-use brand Solei, which is priced at $8.50 per gram, and is of the Indica strain, which skews heavier in CBD content. As the federal government works out the finer details on regulating the production and sale of food items containing cannabis, pot brownie lovers will just have to settle for baking their own at home.

As the high from Wednesday's historic cannabis legalization wears off, there are a few legal footnotes worth taking note of before lighting up again.

It's still unclear if legalisation will undercut the black market. Some Canadian consumers, she said, are lured across the border to Washington by the state's larger variety of high-quality cannabis products.

He acknowledged that criminal enterprises that have long controlled the pot market and have reaped billions in profits a year "are not going to go gently into the night".

According to a recent Abacus Data poll published on Monday, 70 per cent of Canadians accept or support legalisation.

The government's BC Cannabis Stores website went online at midnight, and Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth said there were 1,000 sales in the first hour of operation.

Some doctors, however, remain wary.

"Our number one priority is to make sure our children are safe, make sure we keep it away from schools, and make sure we let municipalities decide if they're even going to sell it, where they can smoke it", said Ford.

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