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Canada Becomes Second Country to Legalize Marijuana Nationwide

The sale of legal recreational marijuana has begun in Canada, making it the second country with a nationwide legal pot market.

The Associated Press reported late Tuesday that retail marijuana sales had begun in Newfoundland, the country’s easternmost province, shortly after midnight local time.

Canadian lawmakers voted in June to approve legal recreational marijuana. The vote ended a 95-year-ban on the substance.

The AP reported that more than 100 legal pot shops are expected to open on Wednesday. Provinces are handling their own regulations for sale, growth and taxation of recreational marijuana, though there will be a nationwide minimum age of at least 18 years old.

Under the new law, Canadians can also order marijuana through the mail.

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

Medical marijuana has been legal in Canada for nearly 20 years.

Canadian officials are also expected to announce their plan to pardon citizens with marijuana possession convictions for 30 grams or less.

Tom Clarke will be among the first to legally sell recreational marijuana when his shop opens in Newfoundland. He’s been dealing marijuana for 30 years and says his teenage self would love what he’s doing with his life.

Members of the media attend a preview for one of Quebec's new cannabis stores in Montreal, Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Members of the media attend a preview for one of Quebec’s new cannabis stores in Montreal, Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's government has spent about two years planning for legalization

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government has spent about two years planning for legalization

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The federal government established the broad outline of the legalization law but left it up to provinces and territories to fill in some of the details – such as whether to allow home grows, to establish a legal purchase age of 18 or 19, and whether to sell through government-run pot shops or private outlets.

Canada’s Cannabis Act allows people 18 and older to buy marijuana online or in retail stores.

Most provinces have raised the minimum age to 19, however, to align with the drinking age. In the U.S., states with recreational legalization have an age limit of 21, which matches the drinking age.

Canadian law sets a 30-gram limit on how much people can buy at once or possess in public. That’s just over an ounce, which is the possession limit in all but one of the U.S. states with legal pot – Maine’s limit is 2.5 ounces (71 grams).

However, there’s no limit on how much Canadians can possess in their homes.

Employee Jason Gagne trims cannabis plants at Up's factory in Lincoln, Ontario ahead of the nationwide sale

Employee Jason Gagne trims cannabis plants at Up’s factory in Lincoln, Ontario ahead of the nationwide sale

Canada will become the second and largest country with a legal, nationwide marijuana marketplace when sales begin at midnight Wednesday. 

Canada will become the second and largest country with a legal, nationwide marijuana marketplace when sales begin at midnight Wednesday.

Cannabis products are displayed on the shelves at a new Societe Quebecoise du Cannabis in Montreal

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Written by MT

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