Three things to know before going to Canada for some legal weed

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Canada has fully legalized all types of marijuana use (medical and recreational) as of Wednesday, October 17.

But provinces and businesses have struggled to prepare, and legalization was pushed back from original expectations of a July start to enable setting up distribution and sales networks.

Then there's the patchwork of regulations imposed by provinces and municipalities, with varying rules governing such things as how old a person must be to legally purchase and consume cannabis, how much can be grown at home, if any, and whether it can be consumed in public places. "That needs to stop and that's exactly what we have done".

Some are only allowing government-run stores to sell the drug, others have agreed to give licenses to private retailers. Some websites ran out of popular products.

To him, that is more important than access to legal product, he said.

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.

Hundreds gathered outside licensed retailers, eagerly awaiting their turn to make their own purchases.

Browsing around the site a bit more we did find what we thought would be good news. Canadians (unlike Americans) can buy pot online from government stores, and the Times reports that online sales have been so strong that inventories are already running out.

Canopy Chief Executive Officer Bruce Linton rang in the first sales to residents Ian Power and Nikki Rose.

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"I think we're going to have a rough year-and-a-half learning curve as far as the cross-border issues", said Rino Bortolin, a city councilor in the border city of Windsor, Ontario, to The Washington Post.

"The response to cannabis legalization has resulted in a high volume of orders".

Even in provinces with more shops, shelves are empty likely because of a shortage of product. "It's tough to get everything through the bottleneck on a timely basis", University of Waterloo economist Anindya Sen told the San Jose Mercury News.

"We will be introducing legislation to introduce an expedited pardon process, with no fee, for those with previous convictions for simple possession of cannabis", Scott Bardsley, a spokesperson for Canada's Office of the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, told ABC News on Wednesday.

"I'm very happy that prohibition has ended", Stone said.

The shops remain a popular attraction, especially in Amsterdam, but the drug remains illegal elsewhere in the country. In August, Canada approved a device to detect levels of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), cannabis's psychoactive element, in drivers' oral fluids.

"We hope that the most immediate impact of Canadian legalization is that it galvanizes supporters of ending prohibition in the USA and convinces members of the industry here to increase their efforts in support of reform", Morgan Fox, media relations director for the National Cannabis Industry Association, told 420 Intel in an email.

If you're still craving a trip, Canada's newspaper of record, the Globe and Mail, is here for you. It expects demand for between 300 and 500 units through March, Managing Director Rob Clark said.

Tom Clarke, an illegal pot dealer for three decades, opened a pot store in Portugal Cove, Newfoundland, and made his first sale to his dad. Kamloops City Council voted on the store opening during a meeting yesterday, with a unanimous vote and mayor Ken Christian declaring history had been made.

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