'Shop legal': Ontario's cannabis site launches as marijuana legalized

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Uruguay became the first country in the world to legalise cannabis five years ago in 2013, whilst nine USA states have also legalised recreational use: Alaska, California, Colorado, Maine, Massachusetts, Nevada, Oregon, Vermont and Washington.

Like Canadians, Americans who are of age will be permitted to legally purchase and use marijuana in Canada, but it will be illegal for citizens of both countries to bring the drug across the border into the United States. Canada is also just the second country in the world (after Uruguay) to legalize pot.

Tom Clarke, an illegal pot dealer for three decades, was among the first to make a legal sale in Canada when his store opened at midnight local time in Portugal Cove, Newfoundland. "I am so happy to be living in Canada right now instead of south of the border".

-Canadian authorities will soon be announcing plans to pardon anyone convicted of carrying 30 grams or less of marijuana in the past.

Doors to the shop opened at 10:00 a.m. today, October 17, after the much anticipated legal cannabis legislation came into effect.

Ontario, home to Canada's most populous city, Toronto, will have no physical stores until April 2019, due to a change to the province's retail model by a new provincial government.

The government is also working out regulations for edibles, which will be available within the year, but adults will be able to buy cannabis oil, seeds, and plants and dried cannabis from licensed producers and retailers and to possess up to one ounce in public.

The implementation of police roadside tests for marijuana impairment sticks out as a point of concern for Elliott, who says that determining a point of impairment under the influence of marijuana leaves a lot of grey area.

Some provinces may opt to set the age limit at 19.

The government of Canada will oversee production and manufacturing of the drug.

Organized Crime Reduction Minister Bill Blair said there are "very significant" health and social risks related to edible forms of the drug - products expected to be widely purchased on the black market while it remains illegal to produce or sell them.

"Canada's move to legalize marijuana is a historic rebuke to the disastrous global war on drugs, which has ruined millions of lives", Hannah Hetzer, a Senior International Policy Manager at the pro-legalization Drug Policy Alliance, said.

"We heard when we visited states in the USA that have legalized [marijuana], it's really important to get out and educate your public", she said.

She doesn't expect to make much money off the pot itself, noting Newfoundland's 8 percent cap on retail pot profits.

"There's no money in the product itself", she said. "That's not even paying someone's salary".

A green banner hung above the door, inscribed with the name of the government-run cannabis agency, the Quebec Cannabis Society (SQDC, according to its French acronym), and a large glass window gave passersby a peak inside.

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