Newfoundland Allows Legal Marijuana Sales after Almost a Century of Prohibition

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On 17 October Newfoundland and Labrador will allow pot stores to open at midnight, stated the province’s liquor authority on 12 October. With only five days to wait, everyone living in the province will be waiting for it, but until that, let’s see some more details on how the stores will open, different policies and opinions from experts.

Newfoundland and Labrador’s Pot Stores

According to the liquor board spokesperson Greg Gill, the stores can legally open at 10:30 p.m. ET, or 7:30 PT, on Oct. 16, he added that:

“We’re not mandating that they open at midnight. That’s at the discretion of the retailer. I’m hearing rumblings of a few that will be open, but I really can’t say.”

The last time Canada has had legal recreational sales of marijuana was in 1923.

Newfoundland has 23 cannabis stores; Labrador has one and St. John’s has eight stores.

Among the cannabis retailers, there are Canopy Growth and Loblaw, but also small operators, such as Tobin’s Convenience in Labrador City.

Starting with Wednesday, all cannabis stores in the province will be open from 9 am to 2 am. However, some of them will open on 17 October at midnight and close at 2 am, but they will again open at 9 am.

As for a public smoke-in, the province has a strict consumption law that forbids it and will take effect as soon as marijuana gets legalized, explains Gill:

“We will have inspectors and Cannabis NL staff out and about across the province at midnight just to kind of keep an eye on activity, and that kind of thing.”

What Should Canadians Not Do After Pot is Legalized?

According to Canadian law, anything that takes effect on a certain day will start at midnight in every time zone, so the process of legalization will take 5:30 hours. After 17 October, Canada will be the second country in the world that legalizes and regulates cannabis for recreational use – the first one is Uruguay.

David Hammond, a Waterloo professor with the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and the Public Health Agency of Canada Chair in Applied Public Health, explains that Canadians must be educated on the responsible use of cannabis, like THC content, dosing, and the variety of effects it has on people – which can be very different:

“This is not your dad’s or your grandpa’s cannabis. The average potency has gone up about three times in the last 20 years.”

Driving high is a criminal offense, and nobody in a car or a boat is allowed to smoke cannabis. Consuming cannabis for recreational purposes will be illegal in the workplace too.

Rex Austin

Rex Austinwas born and raised in Thunder Bay Ontario on the shores of Lake Superior. Apart from running his own podcast (Ice Fishing And Other “Cool” Things), he spends his time canoeing and backpacking in Northern Ontario.. As a journalist Rex has published stories for Global News (Thunder Bay) we well as Buzz Feed and Joystiq. As a contributor to Great Lakes Ledger, Rex most covers science and health stories. Contact Rexhere