Canada has legalised possession and use of recreational cannabis, opening a nationwide market for for the plant on Wednesday at midnight.
Following the legalisation, adults will be able to buy cannabis oil, seeds and plants and dried cannabis from licensed producers and retailers and to possess up to 30 grams (one ounce) of dried cannabis in public, or its equivalent.
Edibles, or cannabis-infused foods, will not be immediately available for purchase but will be within a year of the bill coming into force. The delay is meant to give the government time to set out regulations specific to those products.
However, it will be illegal to possess more than 30 grams in public, grow more than four plants per household and to buy from an unlicensed dealer.
Anyone caught selling the drug to a minor could be jailed for up to 14 years.
Legalisation fulfills a 2015 campaign promise by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, the leader of the governing Liberal Party.
The prime minister argues that Canada’s nearly century-old laws criminalising use of the drug have been ineffective, given that Canadians are still among the world’s heaviest users.
He said the new law is designed to keep drugs out of the hands of minors and profits out of the hands of criminals.
The federal government also predicts it will raise $400 million (Ksh40 billion) a year in tax revenues on the sale of cannabis.
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