Canada on Wednesday became the first major world economy to legalize recreational marijuana, beginning a national experiment that will alter the country's social, cultural and economic fabric, and present the nation with its biggest public policy challenge in decades.
New legislation means adults in Canada are now permitted to possess 30 grams of dried cannabis or its equivalent.
Cannabis connoisseurs appear to have embraced the new system as massive queues formed outside numerous 111 legal pot shops now open around the country.
About can$750,000 worth of marijuana was sold out in Ontario, Canada's most populated province in the first few hours of the lifting of prohibition.
Longtime pot fan Ryan Bose, 48, a Lyft driver in Toronto, said it's about time.
"Alcohol took my grandfather and it took his youngest son, and weed has taken no one from me ever", he said.
A patchwork of regulations has spread in Canada as each province takes its own approach within the framework set out by the federal government. Around 800 sales were made at the only government-run store open on Day 1.
Nine US states have legalised recreational use of cannabis, and more than 30 have approved medical marijuana. Intellectual PropertyCannabis: From mystery to medical intellectual property In his article looking at the medical silver lining of legal cannabis, IP lawyer Noel Courage writes: "If a company spends millions of dollars on R&D, they need to have strong IP to recoup that investment".
Meanwhile, Ontarians were ordering products online through the government-run website OCS.ca, the only way to legally purchase cannabis products in the province, at this point.
Steve Hawkins, executive director of the Marijuana Policy Project, a Washington-based lobbying organization that has been pressing for legalization since 1995, said it is time for the U.S.to follow Canada's lead.
Long queues of customers looking for a legal high have been reported all around the country.
Here is a roundup of all the analysis and opinion pieces we published this week covering the many aspects of cannabis legalization in Canada that came into effect on October 17, 2018.
As Canada welcomes legalization, supply shortages could develop, as happened in some USA states when legalization arrived.
Brenda Tobin and her son Trevor plan to open their pot shop in Labrador City in Newfoundland and Labrador at 4:20 p.m., a reference to 420, slang for the consumption of cannabis.
"We are just ecstatic", she said.
"They can't come in the store, but they can see the line, see this important moment in Canadian history", Fencott said.