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article imageWhere to buy pot in Canada may be limited on October 17

By Karen Graham     Oct 15, 2018 in World
Ottawa - On October 17 across Canada, legal marijuana will be available to the public, if you're old enough, but many Canadians will be disappointed to learn they may not be able to buy and consume legal weed then.
With all the hoopla over big marijuana producers making billions of dollars on deals and acquisitions of smaller cannabis companies, you would think Canada has enough marijuana on hand to stock every pot shop across the country, but it is now in the hands of the provinces and territories.
Only a handful of retail locations nationwide will be up and running on October 17, and for some, there may be only the basics, like the dried flower, pre-rolled joints, oils, and cannabis accessories. Actually, the October date is an extension from the initial target date set in July, so for most retailers, it has turned out to be a very narrow timeline.
This meant that provincial and territorial governments had a short time to set up governmental regulations, licensing and retailer rules before any shop got approval. In some cases, shops are still awaiting a final inspection by local authorities.
This is what Thomas's Battleford in Toronto is doing - His shop, Jimmy's Cannabis, is waiting for that final inspection that will hopefully come to pass next week. On the other hand, the Natural Vibe in Newfoundland have all their paperwork in order to add cannabis to their shelves but don't have any product to stock yet, according to CTV News Canada.
"We will have products by Oct. 17, but as time goes on we will have a wider selection," said Megan Kennedy, owner of the St. John's-based health food store which is adding marijuana to its existing product catalog.
Availability of cannabis across Canada
All Canadians will be able to purchase pot online from government or private retailers. And those living on the East coast will have a greater number of shops open for business on Day 1.
Newfoundland and Labrador will have "more than 20 licensed private retailers ready to sell non-medical pot on day one, but the exact number is yet to be determined," said Greg Gill, a spokesman for the Newfoundland Labrador Liquor Corporation.
New Brunswick will have 20 government-run cannabis retail locations, while Nova Scotia will have 12 government-operated stores alongside alcohol. Prince Edward Island will have three government-run retail locations
In Ontario, Canada's most populous province, no pot retail stores will be open, although the new Progressive Conservative government plans to have cannabis in private retail stores by April 1, 2019. Ontario's online delivery service won't go online until October 17, and there is no indication there will be same-day service.
Warning label on bag of cannabis in Ontario
Warning label on bag of cannabis in Ontario
Lars Hagberg, AFP/File
In British Columbia, it's looking rough for would-be consumers of cannabis. One store, in Kamloops, is the only place anyone can buy legal cannabis. The province is hoping that more will open in the ensuing months - according to Vice, but as it stands, you're out of luck here.
And in Canada's heartland, Alberta is scaling up for the legalization date — with 17 pot retailers available across the province, including six stores in Edmonton, three in Medicine Hat, two in Calgary, two in Fort Saskatchewan, and one in Stony Plain, Devon, Spruce Grove, and St. Albert.
Saskatchewan and Manitoba will each have four stores open on Day 1, while Newfoundland and Labrador will lead the way with the most stores in the provinces, A total of 24 stores are set to open on Day 1. In Yukon, buyers can purchase their pot from the government in a large warehouse (formerly a storage center for the Department of Highways and Public Works) just outside of Whitehorse.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau predicts other countries will follow Canada's lead in le...
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau predicts other countries will follow Canada's lead in legalizing cannabis
Lars Hagberg, AFP
The Northwest Territories will be putting cannabis in their liquor stores on October 17, including in Yellowknife, Hay River, Inuvik, Fort Smith, Norman Wells, and Fort Simpson. In Nunavut, which just got its first beer store last year, cannabis will be available online as of Day 1.
In Quebec, the Société québécoise du cannabis says there will be 12 stores open on October 17. This includes three in Montréal, two in Québec City, and one in Levis, Trois-Rivières, Drummondville, Rimouski Mirabel, Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, and Mascouche. Three of the locations—in Montreal, Joliette, and Brossard - will open later in the month.
Expectations will be over the top
There will be shortages, expect this to happen. With limited store openings and pot supplies, this will hamper sales and cause disappointment.
The bud of a Cannabis sativa flower coated with trichomes bearing cannabidiol and other cannabinoids...
The bud of a Cannabis sativa flower coated with trichomes bearing cannabidiol and other cannabinoids.
Psychonaught via Wikimedia
Brad Poulos, an instructor at Ryerson University's Ted Rogers School of Management says, "I don't think it's really surprising that we're here where we are. But very rapidly though, the industry is going to start building out. And where we are on Oct. 17 doesn't matter a whole lot... Not in the long run."
The supply of legal pot in Canada will only meet 30 percent to 60 percent of demand after legalization, keeping the black market very much alive and stunting the government's tax take, according to a new study.
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