Toronto had 92 illegal dispensaries the day before legalization, though 56 were shut down Wednesday afternoon. Some illegal shops in both cities are hoping to get licensed.Chief Constable Adam Palmer of the Vancouver Police Department, who is also the president of the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police, said this week that at a time of limited resources, policing marijuana would not suddenly become law enforcement’s primary concern.“Fentanyl kills 11 Canadians a day,” he said, referring to the powerful synthetic opioid that is a public health scourge in some cities like Vancouver.
The legalization of cannabis has led to a so-called “green rush,” with licensed cannabis growers pressing to get a foothold in what is expected to be a $5 billion industry (6.5 billion Canadian dollars) by 2020, buttressed by the expected arrival of thousands of pot tourists from the United States.
After months of soaring share prices, though, the first day of legal marijuana sales initially saw steep drops in the value of marijuana stocks.
For many, it was a seminal moment, akin to the ending of Prohibition in the United States in the 1930s.
It was also an unlikely unifier, coming at a time when Canada has been buffeted by bruising trade talks with the United States and has seen its prime minister, Justin Trudeau, repeatedly ridiculed by President Trump.
Pre-rolled joints, fresh or dried marijuana flowers, and cannabis oil are all permitted under the law.
Cannabis edibles — like pot-infused jelly beans, peanut butter and coffee — won’t be legal for another year.
MONTREAL — Canada on Wednesday became the first major world economy to legalize recreational marijuana, beginning a national experiment that will alter the country’s social, cultural and economic fabric, and present the nation with its biggest public policy challenge in decades.
Across the country, as government pot retailers opened from Newfoundland to British Columbia, jubilant Canadians waited for hours in line to buy the first state-approved joints.
Among many open questions are how the police will test drivers who may be high and how employers deal with employees who smoke before coming to work.
Bernard Le Foll, a specialist in addiction at the Center for Addiction and Mental Health in Toronto, a leading teaching hospital and research organization, said that although the center supported legalization, he was concerned that the public dissemination of information about risks had been insufficient.“Cannabis is not a benign substance,” Dr. “There is a clear risk of addiction, and it can produce significant mental health issues if used by the wrong kind of people.”Jean-Sébastien Fallu, an associate professor of applied psychology and a specialist in addiction at Université de Montréal, said he particularly worried about the effects on young people.“We don’t want young people to feel stigmatized, for example, if they don’t use cannabis,” Professor Fallu said.