Canada became the largest country with a legal national marijuana marketplace in October. Power was first in line at a store in the eastern city of Saint John’s, Newfoundland.
Canadian Ian Power was one of the first people to buy legal recreational cannabis in Canada, but he has no plans to smoke it. He plans to keep it forever.
“I am going to frame it and hang it on my wall. I’m not even going to smoke it. I’m just going to save it forever,” Power said.
And there was more good news for marijuana lovers. Canada’s Public Safety Minister said the government will consider a proposal to pardon those jailed for possessing a small amount of marijuana — as long as they have finished their sentence.
Canada has permitted medical use of marijuana since 2001. For two years, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government has worked to legalize marijuana for recreational uses. The goal is to admit society’s changing opinion about the drug and to create a government supervised market.
“Profits out of the hands of criminals…Today #cannabis is legalized…,” Trudeau wrote in a tweet.
Uruguay was first was the first country to legalize marijuana sales in 2017.
As Tuesday night came to an end, hundreds of people were lined up at a store on Water Street in St. John’s, Newfoundland. Some people smoked marijuana on the street while those in vehicles sounded horns to show support.
“We just made history,” said the 46-year-old Power, who bought one gram of marijuana. “I can’t believe we did it”
Bruce Linton, the head of marijuana grower and store Canopy Growth, made the sale to Power.
“It was extremely emotional,” he said. “Several people who work for us have been working on this for their entire adult life and several of them were in tears.”
Linton said Canada is at the head of the industry because it is federally legal in Canada and federally illegal in the United States.
“The last time Canada was this far ahead in anything, Alexander Graham Bell made a phone call,” said Linton.
Bell, who lived in the United States, was a Canadian citizen.
Linton’s company recently received an investment of $4 billion from Constellation Brands, which also sells Corona beer and Robert Mondavi wines.
Tom Clarke, who sold marijuana illegally for 30 years, was also one of the first to make a legal sale in Canada. His store opened early Wednesday morning in Portugal Cove, Newfoundland. He made the first sale to his father. A crowd of 50 to 100 people waited outside and cheered him.
“I’ve been waiting my whole life for this,” Clarke said. “I am so happy to be living in Canada right now instead of south of the border.”