Cannabis Legal In Canada: Massive Midnight Queues For Marijuana Shops As Drug Is Decriminalized

Canopy Growth CEO Bruce Linton applauds after handing Ian Power and Nikki Rose, who were first in line to purchase the first legal recreational marijuana after midnight Photo: Reuters

Huge queues formed at cannabis shops across Canada overnight after the drug was legalised.

Canada became the largest country with a national legal marijuana policy on Wednesday.

A number of shops held special midnight openings to mark the occasion, with thousands of people across the country queuing for their first lawful blaze.

Meanwhile, a government official said anyone with prior convictions for possessing up to 30g of cannabis – which is now the legal limit – will be pardoned. A formal announcement is expected later on Wednesday.

Ian Power was among the first to buy legal cannabis after midnight. But he had no intention of smoking it. Instead, he planned to frame it.

Speaking in St John’s, Newfoundland, the 46-year-old said: “I am going to frame it and hang it on my wall. I’m just going to save it forever.

“Prohibition has ended right now. We just made history. I can’t believe we did it. All the years of activism paid off. Cannabis is legal in Canada and everyone should come to Canada and enjoy our cannabis.”

The Newfoundland stores are among at least 111 legal pot shops expected to open across the nation on Wednesday.

No stores will open in Ontario, which includes Toronto. The most populous province is working on its regulations and doesn’t expect stores until next spring.

Canadians also can order marijuana products through websites run by provinces or private retailers, and have it delivered to their homes by mail.

Ryan Bose, 48, a delivery driver from Toronto, said it was about time: “Alcohol took my grandfather and it took his youngest son, and weed has taken no one from me ever.”

Canada has had legal medical marijuana since 2001. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government had spent two years working towards expanding that to include recreational marijuana.

Nine US states have legalised recreational use.