It seems like a lifetime ago that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced his intentions to legalize recreational cannabis. During that time, Canadians were subjected to a deluge of endless polls asking for their opinions on everything from retail, to what products might be available, to whether or not we should be allowed to grow our own.
We all sat through countless debates on the subject, enduring the driest of conversations, all with the intention of seeing through the fog and arriving on the precipice of legalization. Now, on Oct. 17 it will finally be a reality.
So what can Canadians and lucky tourists expect on the day weed is legally available? Herbal Dispatch sought to find out.
Welcome to the Stoned Age
First and foremost, you need to be old enough to buy marijuana. Every province across the country has set the legal age limit at 19 years, except for those lucky people in Quebec and Alberta who will be able to buy one year earlier at 18.
Consumers should not expect to see products in colorful, brand-specific wrapping that attempts to convince you they are the best. Instead, due to government regulations, the packaging will be more boring than an insurance seminar. But considering there will be a lot of “newbies” consuming cannabis for the first time, an uninteresting, non-convincing package may be a better option as society gets used to the effects of pot.
When we have an educated consumer-base, hopefully the government will loosen the reigns and allow for packages that don’t look like they contain uranium leftovers from the Soviet Union.
In Canada’s most populated province of Ontario, for a while it looked like a government monopoly on retail was the reality on the ground. Thankfully, for both consumers and suppliers, a recent regime change brought in a new premier, friendly with the idea of private stores.
Having said that, don’t look for your friendly neighborhood pot shop anytime soon. Those locations will not be ready until April of next year. In the meantime, Ontarians need to do things the old-fashioned way, buy their weed off the internet.
Other provinces have mixtures of private and government-run retail and it is best to check local news sites in your city or town, to know if you have a retail store and where it’s located.
There are a number of licensed producers that will be selling their wares on government-run websites across the country come Oct. 17th. Company names and brands that up until this point have only been seen painted on the stock pages, will suddenly have products available for purchase.
As for available products across the nation, at first there will be very little to choose from. Think dry bud, oil and seeds. For consumers that have been enjoying marijuana products for years, those items are so common they practically fall out of our couch cushions when we sit down. But for those of us who are just getting in to marijuana, seeing weed on retail shelves should be enough to get your motor running.
As for where you can smoke your freshly purchased, legal marijuana, it again depends on where you find yourself while asking that question. Most provinces only allow smoking and vaping in private residences or where tobacco smoking is allowed.
Take Your Medicine
Finally, it should be mentioned that if you are an existing medical cannabis patient nothing will change for you other than the fact that you’ll see way more people ingesting your medicine (so you’ll be in good company)!
What about Herbal Dispatch, My Favourite Place to Buy Cannabis Products?
We’re not going anywhere. We’ll be revealing our plans to our members September 4th, so stay tuned for the exciting news!
- Edibles Are Not Legal Yet, What Do I Do Until Then? - October 2, 2018
- It’s a New Dawn, a New Day, a New Life - September 25, 2018
- Canada’s Activists Reveal Their Thoughts on Legalization - September 17, 2018
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