As Canada became the second country to legalise marijuana on Wednesday, some areas faced their first major challenge as supply failed to meet demand. "It is the end of an era, it is the end of a prohibition".
Authorities will soon announce plans to pardon Canadians who have been convicted with possession of 30 grams or less of marijuana, CNN partner CTV reported.
"It's a historic day", said the 38-year-old man, who gave his name as Steve. Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth said there are 173 retail applications being considered and he advised illegal stores to shut down until they are licensed.
"It's an octopus with many tentacles", he added, "and there are many unknowns".
"Just because the federal government has made a decision to legalize cannabis doesn't mean that it's safe", Mulroney said.
In a stinging editorial published Monday, the Canadian Medical Association Journal called the government's legalization plan an "uncontrolled experiment in which the profits of cannabis producers and tax revenues are squarely pitched against the health of Canadians".
Even though Canadians are now allowed to have a certain amount of marijuana in their possession, they're prohibited from possessing illicit cannabis.
The legislation, which was passed in the Canadian Senate in June, was part of a 2015 campaign promise by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
On the first day of legalization in Canada, Quebec's crown cannabis corporation had recorded more than 12,500 in-store transactions and 30,000 online orders, which "far exceeds" its expectations.
On Wednesday, Canada became the largest country in the world to legalize it.
In total, Statistics Canada says 5.4 million Canadians would buy cannabis from legal dispensaries this year - about 15 percent of the population.
The union representing about 50,000 workers at the national postal service, which is exclusively responsible for delivering Ontario Cannabis Store inventory, said rotating strikes could begin as early as Monday. Small nuggets of bud are displayed in clear "smell jars", but otherwise no products, logos or branding are visible, in line with Health Canada regulations. Its first commercial sale took place past year when pharmacies started selling it directly to consumers. 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. For example, residents in Manitoba can only consume cannabis in private residences while a number of other provinces allow it in public areas where smoking tobacco is permitted.
The government announced late a year ago that medical marijuana would be allowed, and the country is due to hold a national referendum by 2020 on whether to legalize and regulate adult use of marijuana.
It might have a more immediate effect in countries like New Zealand, where the government has promised a legalization referendum by 2020, said John Walsh, of the advocacy group Washington Office on Latin America. The sterility of the store design seemed calculated to make pot unglamorous, nearly like buying cough syrup.
It's unclear as yet if the new framework will succeed in undercutting the black market, as prices for illicit pot have plunged in the past year to an average of Can$6.79 per gram, and most sellers had planned to charge more.