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

Pot Stocks Tumble in First Hours of Canada’s Legal Weed Market

Pot Stocks Tumble in First Hours of Canada’s Legal Weed Market

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.

With its shiny white countertops, glowing white lights and touchscreen browsing computers, the BC Cannabis Store at the Columbia Place Shopping Centre has drawn comparisons to a spa or an Apple Store location.

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

"Snowbirds here to Arizona need to be aware of the fact that Arizona doesn't allow recreational marijuana and they may need a medical card here to consume the cannabis", KTAR News legal analyst Monica Lindstrom said.

Canada's national approach has allowed for unfettered industry banking, inter-province shipments of cannabis and billions of dollars in investment - a sharp contrast with national prohibition in the United States.

At least 111 legal pot shops are planning to open across the nation of 37 million people on the first day. He says it's not the end of cannabis activists in Canada.

Noooope. It remains illegal to transport marijuana and you will likely face criminal charges when trying to cross the border into the United States, even if you're going to one of the nine USA states where recreational marijuana is legal. A series of Mexican Supreme Court rulings beginning in 2015 began laying the groundwork for marijuana legalization by holding that people should have the right to grow and distribute marijuana for personal use.

As Canada makes history with its nationwide legalization of cannabis, some observers in the United States are watching with a sense of cautious optimism; in the hopes that their northern neighbor's actions might end up having a positive impact on America's cannabis legalization movement.

On Wednesday, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau spoke to parliament, reiterating why he had been campaigning for this legislation over the last few years. Pot-infused edible products will become legal in another year.

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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.

Other cannabis shops in Victoria made a decision to close while they go through the application process. The most populous province is working on its regulations and does not expect any stores to open until next spring.

Tom Clarke's shop opened at midnight in Newfoundland, Canada's easternmost province. Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth said there are 173 retail applications being considered and he advised illegal stores to shut down until they are licensed.

"If you're under the influence, you're going to be in trouble".

Even in provinces with more shops, shelves are empty likely because of a shortage of product.

Still, most of the sector remained lower as Canadians waited on lines for legal weed, with some complaining about the high prices.

"Definitely not", he told KTW, noting such outlets are contravening municipal, provincial and federal laws by operating without business licenses and selling product that is not legal. In August, Canada approved a device to detect levels of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive element in cannabis, in a driver's oral fluids.

Canadians can even order marijuana online and have weed delivered by mail to their door.

Canada needs to "take a deep breath" as USA states such as Colorado and California did not have a seamless system at the outset either, said Cam Battley, chief corporate officer for licensed producer Aurora Cannabis.

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