Cannabis in Canada: how did we get here?

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"We don't have to hide it any more".

"We wanted to make sure that anybody who walked in, whether you were a novice or an aficionado, felt comfortable", said Zanocco. But there's also a sense of frustration that America's legal cannabis companies might be seeing a major business opportunity slip away.

He said he didn't mind that the government-run store doesn't carry the concentrated product, which is still illegal, and he'll buy marijuana online from now on instead of purchasing it illegally.

In parliament, he also lamented that prohibition had had a "disproportionate and unfair impact on marginalised and racialised communities". Perry reiterated that it does not matter if an American is crossing between a state that has legalized recreational marijuana and Canada, like in Vermont, or Washington.

Cannabis legalization has implications for many other facets of Canadian society, ranging from law enforcement and testing for cannabis-impaired drivers to corporate policies governing consumption restrictions for certain industries such as air travel. "When people start to see the consequences (of legalisation) they will blame Trudeau's failures for it", opposition Tory leader Andrew Scheer commented. Now more than 30 states have OK'd the medical use of marijuana and nine have approved recreational use by adults. Around 4.9 million already smoke.

The coalition announced the launch of a new website Wednesday for filing complaints about the law and reporting violations at Potwatch.org.

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Under the new regulations, Canadians who are 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. All sales must be through government-owned cannabis stores, of which four opened Wednesday in Montreal (although one is almost impossible to get to because of pandemic street repairs that have paralyzed city traffic for what seems like years). 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.

It's still unclear if legalisation will undercut the black market.

Cannabis can cost anywhere from $6.99 to $13.99 per gram and oils can range from $20.99 to $139.99 for bottles - based on size and whether it's a multi-pack.

Mr Trudeau's office have said the prime minister "does not plan on purchasing or consuming cannabis once it is legalised".

Wall Street analysts now think the cannabis market, while still volatile, could expand beyond recreational and medical use into food, beverages, pharmaceuticals and other areas.

According to a recent Abacus Data poll published on Monday, 70 per cent of Canadians accept or support legalisation.

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Adrian Wyld/CP Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale, Health Minister Ginette Petitpas Taylor and Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould listen as Border Security Minister Bill Blair speaks during a news conference on legalized cannabis in Ottawa on October 17, 2018.

Some doctors, however, remain wary.

It is hoped legalising the drug will raise C$400m a year in tax revenue.

US residents are free to consume cannabis in Canada, but they should leave it behind when returning home, says Erik Altieri, the executive director of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana laws (NORML).

With Canada joining Uruguay as the world's second nationwide recreational marijuana market, you're going to need to know what's what with weed in the Great White North, whether you're a Canadian resident or a tourist planning a trip.

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