Monday, 19 November, 2018

Canada to pardon pot possession as it legalizes marijuana

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Rhonda Young | 18 October, 2018, 19:10

In the meantime, Toronto Police still intend to crack down on illegal dispensaries, with the Ontario government deeming physical stores selling weed to be afoul of the law until April.

"We just made history", said the 46-year-old Ian Power, who bought a gram in St John's, Newfoundland to become one of the first people to buy the drug legally in the country. "I'm elated. I'm so excited, I can't stop smiling".

"I am not sure if the International Olympic Committee was looking at it from a social standpoint or because it was against the law, but I think now the responsible thing to do is look at if from a non-idealogical standpoint and realise the benefits", said Rebagliati.

"What happened at the very beginning of what they did is exactly what we're doing in Canada", he said. "We don't have to hide it any more".

Former prime minister Brian Mulroney provided the day's most surprising twist, announcing he will join the board of directors of a large American cannabis company, Acreage Holdings, when the company is added to the Canadian Securities Exchange in November.

Now that the transaction is complete, he says he plans on vacuum sealing and framing the first gram of marijuana legally sold in the country.

Meanwhile, on Wednesday there was the smell of marijuana in the streets and the sound of cheers from Canada's first legal marijuana customers.

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And while many Canadians may be celebrating their ability to freely use the drug, the coming legalization had been a boon for producers operating in the country as their market values exploded amid increasing interest from investors.

"When people start to see the consequences (of legalization) they will blame Trudeau's failures for it", opposition Tory leader Andrew Scheer commented.

Trautman expects less potential crossing problems between Canadian provinces and states where cannabis is clearly illegal.

Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health has released a series of short videos to engage young people in learning more about the risks and concerns around cannabis use.

A depiction of a cannabis bud hangs from the ceiling as a band plays at Leafly's countdown party in Toronto, Tuesday, Oct. 16, 2018, as they prepare to mark the legalization of Cannabis across Canada. Around 4.9 million already smoke.

A senior government official said those with a record will be allowed to apply for a pardon.

The big difference between cannabis legalization in the US and Canada, Hawkins added, has been "the blessing provincial governments (in Canada) have received from their federal government". Rules for edibles are also still a year away.

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To meet demand, hundreds of growers have been licensed, some taking over horticulture and floriculture greenhouses.

The new industry has attracted billions in funding, as well as interest from major alcohol and soft drink makers in developing cannabis infused drinks. Those areas represent an outsized share of demand, at roughly 90 percent of the global cannabis market previous year, or upwards of $9.5 billion, according to research from Arcview and BDS Analytics.

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

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

The nationwide market for cannabis opened on Wednesday at midnight amid lingering questions about the impact on health, the law and public safety.

Some doctors, however, remain wary. For example, while adult marijuana use is legal in both Canada and Washington state, it is a crime to bring marijuana from one to the other.

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