On Monday, Ontario opened its first 10 weed stores, nearly six months after Canada legalized the sweet leaf nationwide.
Until now, Ontario’s residents could only purchase cannabis products through a government-run website.
According to Global News, provincial regulators planned for 25 shops to open yesterday. However, the licensing process in Canada is both time-consuming and complicated, as shops must meet building codes and other rules before they can purchase wholesale or sell on-site.
Locals, however, showed up in droves to support Ontario’s new industry, as people began lining up to buy weed in the wee hours of the morning.
“I just wanted to wait and see what the excitement is about,” said Gord Nichols, an Ontarian who showed up at one pot shop at 5:30 AM to beat the lines, according to CTV News. “It’s the end of prohibition.”
Despite Ontario’s enthusiastic buzz, reports indicated that Canada’s weed woes are still in place. That means prices are higher than the black market and there are still supply shortages. The nation may have legal weed, but regulators are still hammering out the rules for popular products like infused edibles, drinks, and vape pens, which remain unavailable in government-licensed shops.
Fortunately, more shops will likely open in the coming months. Government licenses require cannabis stores to open within specified times, with fines ranging from $12,500 to $25,000 if the stores don’t meet the deadlines.
In other words, the government is, in some sense, forcing retailers to sell weed. It truly is the end of prohibition.
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