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Inside Canada's First Legal Recreational Cannabis Stores

Inside Canada's First Legal Recreational Cannabis Stores

A day that many Canadians have long dreamt of has finally arrived, with cannabis now officially legal across the country. The drug can be purchased from licensed retailers in stores and online. People can also grow their own weed, however, laws surrounding public use vary considerably across the country.

The Cannabis Act came into effect on 17 October. However, due to the sheer vastness of the country, the landmark moment swept the country in waves, as each time zone struck midnight.

Credit: PA
Credit: PA

Newfoundland, being the furthest province to the east, was the first to make the historic sale. A festival atmosphere swept the city by midnight, with people lighting up joints in the street. Hundreds had formed queues around the block, and 46-year-old Ian Power was first in line at a store in the city of St. John's. He purchased a gram, however, he said he would not be smoking the weed.

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According to CNBC, he said: "Prohibition has ended right now. We just made history.

"I can't believe we did it. All the years of activism paid off. Cannabis is legal in Canada and everyone should come to Canada and enjoy our cannabis.

"I am going to frame it and hang it on my wall. I'm not even going to smoke it. I'm just going to save it forever."

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In a government run store in Nova Scotia, customers are able to choose from a range of different weed-based products. Different varieties of the 'erb are displayed on counters in small containers, which provide a brief description of the ganj within. They also have openable slots, so customers can smell the weed, and a magnifying glass for closer inspection. Pre-rolled joints are also available for purchase.

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Peter Cowan, who was reporting for CBS from a store in Newfoundland, said the shop took more than $9,000 during the first two hours after midnight, with many customers saying the shop was like an Apple store for weed.

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The weed sold in the country comes in packaging with minimal branding and clear health warnings.

At least 111 legal cannabis stores are expect to open across the country, according to CNBC. But before you book your flights, it's worth checking where these stores are. Ontario, for example, does not have a store, meaning weed can only be purchased online. There is also some uncertainty regarding how long deliveries will take.

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Credit: PA
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It's also worth checking the public smoking laws before you light up a big fatty in the car park. In some places they have fairly relaxed laws regarding public smoking, while others prohibit it and can impose hefty fine for those in breach. The province of Alberta, for example, has some of the most liberal public smoking laws, however, its biggest city, Calgary, restricts usage to designated areas.

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Topics: Marijuana, weed, Canada

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Jake Massey

Jake Massey is a journalist at LADbible. He graduated from Newcastle University, where he learnt a bit about media and a lot about living without heating. After spending a few years in Australia and New Zealand, Jake secured a role at an obscure radio station in Norwich, inadvertently becoming a real-life Alan Partridge in the process. From there, Jake became a reporter at the Eastern Daily Press. Jake enjoys playing football, listening to music and writing about himself in the third person.