Canada is now the largest country with a legal national marijuana marketplace as sales began early Wednesday in Newfoundland.
And there was more good news for pot aficionados: Hours before a handful of retail outlets opened in the country’s easternmost province a federal official told The Associated Press that Canada will pardon all those with convictions for possessing up to 30 grams of marijuana, the now-legal threshold.
A formal announcement was planned for later Wednesday. The official, who was not authorized to speak public ahead of the announcement, said those who want to take advantage of the pardons will have to apply.
Canada has had legal medical marijuana since 2001 and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government has spent two years working toward expanding that to include so-called recreational marijuana. The goal is to better reflect society’s changing opinion about marijuana and bring black market operators into a regulated system.
Uruguay was first was the first country to legalize marijuana.
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. He made his first sale to his dad and a lineup of about 50 to 100 people waited outside his shop.
“This is awesome. I’ve been waiting my whole life for this. I served my dad,” Clarke said. “I am ...