Published: Thu, October 18, 2018
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

Canadian marijuana ban goes up in smoke

Canadian marijuana ban goes up in smoke

"You know exactly what I was doing", he called across the aisle with a laugh. "We don't have to hide it any more".

"I don't need to be a criminal anymore, and that's a great feeling", Canadian singer Ashley MacIsaac said outside a Government-run shop in Nova Scotia.

Linton said he was excited to tender the first sale at the Tweed store across from a provincial courthouse, where countless cases over the years have dealt with cannabis-related charges.

The Cannabis Act was orchestrated in part by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who promised during his campaign to legalize pot in an effort to quell crime. Like marijuana businesses in Colorado, California, and Washington state, the Uruguayan sellers have had to resort to cash, with all its attendant risks.

Newfoundland and Labrador's unique position, with a time zone 30 minutes ahead of the rest of Atlantic Canada, made Tuesday night extra special for buyers like Power.

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.

Greg Taylor, manager of the Purpose Marijuana Opportunities Fund, said Wednesday's broad-based pot stock sell-off shows the hype leading up to recreational legalization is beginning to die down. "There is no question that the world is watching Canada", Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould told a press conference.

Most adult Canadians are now able to buy and use recreational cannabis legally and grow it at home, but how and where depends where they live.

A senior government official said off the record that those with a record would be allowed to apply for a pardon. Canadian law now allows people 18 and older to buy pot, though some provinces have upped the minimum age to 19 to match the drinking age.

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According to the federal government, there could be as many as 300 storefronts across Canada selling cannabis by year's end.

Sales of derivatives like edibles will be legalised next year.

Hundreds more license applications are now under review by officials.

Canada might sound like even more of a wonderland for cannabis fans than it already was, but there are still some very real limitations.

In British Columbia - where many unlicensed dispensaries have asserted that they have no intention of shutting down under the new legal regime - weed is priced between $6.99 and $13.99 per gram, excluding tax.

Tilray is the largest pot company, with a market value of nearly $15 billion.

Elsewhere in the world, Georgian and South African high courts issued rulings earlier this year that legalized personal use of marijuana without legalizing sales.

Some doctors, however, remain wary.

The Horizons Marijuana Life Sciences ETF (HMMJ.TO), a basket of North American publicly listed life sciences companies with significant business activities in the marijuana industry, fell almost eight per cent to about $23 per share.

And while some states have legalized medical and recreational marijuana - it's only legal for limited medical purposes in IL - "requirements for global travelers wishing to enter the United States are governed by and conducted in accordance with U.S. Federal Law, which supersedes state laws", the statement continued, adding that "the sale, possession, production and distribution of marijuana or the facilitation of the aforementioned" remain very illegal under federal law.

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