Canada makes history with first legal pot purchase in St. John's

B.C.'s first legal cannabis store approved one day before legalization

Liberals Considering Simple Form To Speed Up Pot Possession Pardons: Officials

Canada became the largest country with a legal national marijuana marketplace as sales began early Wednesday in Newfoundland.

But the lack of retail stores doesn't mean would-be buyers will have to drive to Kamloops for legal recreational pot.

"We're not legalizing cannabis because we think it's good for our health. For decades, we've said: 'Just don't use, ' but that hasn't worked", Connelly explained.

The Canopy founder said he's looking forward to the next steps in cannabis research and the developing public conversations around the substance, noting that the first sales are the result of years of advocacy work.

Under the new regulations, Canadians at least 18 or 19 years old (soon to be 21 in Quebec) will be allowed to buy up to 30 grams of cannabis, and grow up to four plants at home. The most populous province is working on its regulations and does not expect any stores to open until next spring.

Almost a century of marijuana prohibition came to an end Wednesday as Canada became the first major Western nation to legalize and regulate the sale and recreational use of marijuana. "It's really clear to me that we'll get to 40, 50, 60 total countries that legalize medical cannabis over the next two years".

Nearly three years since the Trudeau Liberals were elected - cannabis products are now legal in Canada.

What does Canada have to say of the law?

Around 4.9 million already smoke.

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"I started working in this industry eight and a half years ago when there were 15 countries that had legal access to medical cannabis, today there are 35", Kennedy said.

As well as Mr Trudeau's attempt to cut out weed as a revenue stream for organised criminals, money from the drug will now end up more legal pockets.

Canada is only the second country in the world - and the first G7 nation- to allow a nationwide marijuana market.

The reform will be scrutinised by Canadians ahead of the next election in 2019.

Trudeau himself admitted in 2013 to having smoked pot five or six times in his life, including at a dinner party with friends after being elected to parliament.

The Canadian Press has learned the announcement on setting aside minor marijuana convictions of the past will come the same day the government ushers in a historic new era of legalized cannabis.

Organized Crime Reduction Minister Bill Blair said there are "very significant" health and social risks related to edible forms of the drug - products expected to be widely purchased on the black market while it remains illegal to produce or sell them.

In neighbouring USA, nine states and the District of Columbia have legalised marijuana.

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