Canada is the World’s Largest Legal Marijuana Marketplace
Canada is now the largest country in the world with a legal national marijuana marketplace as sales began early Wednesday in Newfoundland.
There is more good news for the Schedule 1 drug’s aficionados: Hours before a handful of retail outlets opened in the country’s easternmost province a federal official said that Canada will pardon all those with convictions for possessing up to 30 grams of marijuana, the now-legal threshold.
A formal announcement was planned for later Wednesday.
The government official said those who want to take advantage of the pardons will have to apply.
Canada has had legal medical marijuana since Y 2001 and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government has spent 2 years working toward expanding that to include recreational marijuana. The goal is to better reflect society’s changing opinion about marijuana and bring black market operators into a regulated system.
Uruguay was first was the 1st country in the world to legalize marijuana.
Canadians also can order marijuana products through websites run by provinces or private retailers and have it delivered to their homes by mail.
Alberta and Quebec have set the minimum age for purchase at 18, while others have made it 19.
No stores will open in Ontario, which includes Toronto. The most populous province is working on its regulations and does not expect stores until next spring.
A patchwork of regulations has spread in Canada as each province takes its own approach within the framework set out by the federal government. Some are operating government-run stores, some are allowing private retailers, some both.
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 of the Schedule 1 drug in the United States.
9 US states have legalized recreational use of marijuana, and more than 30 have approved medical marijuana.
California, the largest legal market in the US, earlier this month became the first state with a law mandating expungement of criminal convictions for marijuana-related offenses that no are longer illegal.
US Customs and Border Protection invited Canadian media to a conference call Tuesday so officials could reiterate that marijuana remains illegal under US federal law and that those who are caught at the border with the drug are subject to arrest and prosecution.
As Canada welcomes legalization, supply shortages could develop, as happened in some US states when legalization arrived.
Caution, marijuana may not be good for your health or welfare.
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