A historic shift is taking place across the border. Canadians can now legally buy recreational marijuana.
Users lined up outside dispensaries Wednesday and began smoking minutes after the new law went into effect.
“I can’t believe we did it,” Ian Power said after making Canada’s first legal cannabis purchase. “All the years of activism paid off. Cannabis is legal in Canada.”
Supporters say the long-term payoff will be tax revenues and new jobs from what’s expected to be a $5 billion industry.
Canada is the second, and largest, country to legalize weed. In the United States, there is still a federal ban, though Colorado, eight states and Washington D.C. have legalized marijuana for recreational use, and medical marijuana is legal in 31 more.
Still, along the border officials are warning agents will continue to enforce U.S. marijuana laws.
There is a Colorado connection to Canada. A Colorado marijuana business is one of the first American companies to be given a license to sell cannabis in Canada. Native Roots, which you may recognize from the “gas and grass” combination dispensary and gas stations, will open four stores in the province of manitoba, located in Winnipeg.
Two other stores are opening in the towns of Thompson and Brandon.
The Denver based marijuana chain operates 20 stores statewide, with 4 locations in Colorado Springs. Spokesperson Kim Casey, says they have a corporate culture that strictly complies with state and local regulations.
Casey went on to say that they learned how to create a business that could be scalable, that could operate compliantly, in different locations, and I think that probably had a lot to do with the experience we brought to the table for Manitoba.
The company won’t be called Native Roots in Canada. It will operate under the name “Garden Variety.”
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