Strong demand, short supplies on Day One for legal cannabis

Getty Images  Norman Posselt

Getty Images Norman Posselt

"I know people that have been detained for as little as a vape pen", he says. One of the criticisms of the province's online retail sales are the prices are higher than most regular drug users are accustomed to.

On Wednesday morning, the federal government announced it would introduce legislation to grant pardons to Canadians convicted of simple cannabis possession charges and who have completed their sentences.

On Tuesday (October 16) at midnight, Canada became the second country after Uruguay to legalize recreational marijuana.

"I honestly didn't think I was going to be the first person in line, but I gotta say that I'm pretty excited that it turned out I am", Prete said.

Shopify, which provides the technology for numerous provincial online stores, said it had seen more than a million visitors, more than 100,000 orders, more than 100 orders per minute, "and we're just getting started", according to a tweet from Shopify executive Loren Padelford. "It's going to be a volatile sector until we get some real data, and we can actually analyze these companies".

Throughout the country huge lines outside pot shops snaked around city blocks, cannabis flew off store shelves and government websites processed 100 pot orders per minute.

Although Uruguay started selling cannabis products previous year under a 2013 law, Canada's foray is considered more significant because of its economic status and much larger population.

Flying from Vancouver to Montreal, on the other hand, with pot is perfectly legal so long as individuals meet the age requirement and carry no more than 30 grams of cannabis. She never received any of the one-gram packages of flower product she ordered.

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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.

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

In Ontario, residents will have to make purchases online until brick and mortar stores are permitted to begin selling the drug in the spring of next year.

Canada has invested C$274 million to enforce new laws and some provinces have allocated their own funding, but Palmer said police will not crack down on illegal stores right away. Four others will license private retailers, while British Columbia stands out for its mix of both options.

Eight US states (Colorado, Washington, Oregon, Alaska, Maine, Massachusetts, Nevada and California) have also legalized recreational and medicinal marijuana. While Quebec and Alberta set the buying age for marijuana at 18, the legal age across the rest of the country is 19. "If they don't possess marijuana and smoked it in a legal place, there isn't much we can do about that", Favro said.

For decades the USA required other nations to cooperate in the drug war or risk losing foreign aid, even as some Latin American countries wracked by violence criticized America for failing to curb its appetite for cocaine, marijuana and other drugs.

"Even if you ordered it online today it wouldn't come for a few days", said Larsen.

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