Black market will thrive until small pot growers and sellers included: advocates

Clay Curtis
October 18, 2018

"I think more on a short-term basis we should have some cash to make sure we can allocate on a pullback", Taylor said.

To him, that is more important than access to legal product, he said. People will have to apply for the pardons, but will no longer have to wait five years after a conviction or pay hundreds of dollars in fees, as they do now.

"The event happens, and then people say, 'Ah, that wasn't really that big a deal.' Then there is profit taking", he told Yahoo Canada Finance on Wednesday. "We believe this is the first step toward the establishment of cannabis as a key functional ingredient touching multiple consumer categories". Originally from Boston, but now living in Montreal, MacDonald said he hoped the United States would follow Canada's lead and legalise recreational weed.

And with significant know-how gained since Canada's legalisation of medical marijuana in 2001, others including Aurora and Aphria are making inroads overseas as more and more foreign markets allow therapeutic cannabis use and research. The federal government will have to license more industrial growers to grow its new legal recreational market.

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.

"There will be a lot of celebrations on the day, and it will nearly all be with illegal cannabis" in some of Canada's biggest cities, said Brad Poulos, an instructor and cannabis business expert at Ryerson University in Toronto.

The products are displayed in plastic or cardboard packages behind counters. Ontario won't have any brick-and-mortar stores until next year. Quebec's newly elected, right-wing government also says it plans to raise the legal age to buy cannabis from 18 to 21.

At least 111 pot shops were expected to open across the nation of 37 million people, with many more to come, according to an Associated Press survey of the provinces. "It's not an operational priority for us to try and catch people who have used marijuana in Canada, but it is a USA federal law, so if we see people with the possession of marijuana or are under the influence, than we are going to take action".

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Ontario, home to Canada's most populous city, Toronto, will have no physical stores until April 2019, due to a change to the province's retail model by a new provincial government.

Some provinces may opt to set the age limit at 19.

A patchwork of regulations has spread in Canada as each province takes its own approach within the framework established by the Federal Government.

Coalition spokesperson Pamela McColl said she believes legalization normalizes a unsafe substance and positions Canada to be the base of the marijuana industry's global expansion.

Among those waiting outside the store in Sydney River, N.S. was none other than Canadian fiddling legend Ashley MacIsaac.

"I don't think Canada legalizing is going to move the ball with regard to legalization in the USA, especially with this administration", says Hannah Hetzer, who tracks global marijuana policy for the New York-based Drug Policy Alliance.

Shortly after 9 a.m. local time, 48 of 97 available flower products were sold out on the B.C. cannabis online store. Canadians can even order marijuana online and have weed delivered by mail to their door.

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