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A private retail licensing model will be implemented on April 1 when the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario will become the provincial regulator, which will be authorized to grant store licenses.

The briefing was part of a last political push by the government to answer outstanding questions about a major social and policy shift that will see Canada become the first G7 country to legalize the use of recreational cannabis and possessions of small amounts.

In Ontario, you have to be 19 years of age or older to buy, use, possess and grow recreational cannabis.

Talks over legalising marijuana in Canada have been going on for a while now with the Senate voting 52-29 in favour of legalisation.

Tom Clarke, an illegal pot dealer for three decades, was among the first to make a legal sale in Canada when his store opened at midnight local time in Portugal Cove, Newfoundland.

Senators voted 52-29 on a federal government bill back in June to pave the way for the legalization of recreational cannabis.

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He said he's excited for the stigma around cannabis use and the "stupid stoner" image to change, and for those historic changes to begin in Newfoundland. "I am so happy to be living in Canada right now instead of south of the border".

"We heard from provinces and territories who told us they needed more time to transition to this new framework, so our government will continue to work in full partnership with them, to ensure the smooth and orderly implementation of this new law across Canada".

There is expected to be a massive market for legal sales in Canada - as much as $4 billion in the first year, according to a report from consultancy Deloitte. "All the years of activism paid off. Cannabis is legal in Canada and everyone should come to Canada and enjoy our cannabis".

Legal users will be able to purchase seeds, plants, cannabis oil and dried cannabis from licensed sellers. The most populous province is working on its regulations and doesn't expect stores until next spring.

Canada needs to "take a deep breath" as USA states such as Colorado and California did not have a seamless system at the outset either, said Cam Battley, chief corporate officer for licensed producer Aurora Cannabis.


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