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As online demand soared, stocks quickly ran out, creating fears of marijuana shortages.In New Brunswick, the government cannabis agency provided a step-by-step guide on its website on how to roll a joint.For many, it was a seminal moment, akin to the ending of Prohibition in the United States in the 1930s.
The low cost of government pot, she added, was a big draw for her, along with the fact that legal marijuana was screened and devoid of contaminants.
In Halifax, the mood was similarly buoyant.“We are witnessing history,” said Shawn King, the host of a countdown to legalization on a local radio station. There’s going to be a generation of people that never knew it was ever banned.”Inside a government retailer in Halifax that looked like an Apple store, shoppers browsed for products including “Ghost Train” and “Lemon Skunk.” Bongs were on display.
At a news conference, Ralph Goodale, Canada’s public safety minister, said the government would introduce legislation to make it easier for Canadians convicted of possessing small amounts of marijuana to obtain a pardon.
The stated rationale for legalizing cannabis was to tame an illegal multibillion-dollar trade.
Toronto had 92 illegal dispensaries the day before legalization, though 56 were shut down Wednesday afternoon. Some illegal shops in both cities are hoping to get licensed.
Chief Constable Adam Palmer of the Vancouver Police Department, who is also the president of the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police, said this week that at a time of limited resources, policing marijuana would not suddenly become law enforcement’s primary concern.“Fentanyl kills 11 Canadians a day,” he said, referring to the powerful synthetic opioid that is a public health scourge in some cities like Vancouver.
At the government cannabis store in Montreal — one of 12 in Quebec — a line stretched across a long city block on Wednesday morning.
Some of the hundreds of people had waited since a.m., anticipating the store’s 10 a.m. Kate Guihan, 29, a beautician, said she planned to celebrate the “historic moment” on Wednesday night with several puffs on a joint.
Some shoppers bought weed, and others accessorized.
Others across Canada were ordering pot online from government stores.