Stores in the country's easternmost province were the first to open at 12:01 a.m. local time, ahead of brick-and-mortar outlets in other provinces and territories. In Colorado, for instance, dried flower use made up 47 percent of last year's fourth-quarter sales, with demand for edibles and concentrates growing especially fast.
The day was historic for the country as adult Canadians will be able to legally smoke recreational marijuana after almost a century-long ban.
"Now that our neighbor to the north is opening its legal cannabis market, the longer we delay, the longer we miss out on potentially significant economic opportunities for OR and other states across the country", Democratic Sen.
Despite the dearth of stores in Canada's biggest cities, consumers can buy legal marijuana online, from provincial governments or licensed retailers, although delivery will take a few days.
According to accounting firm Deloitte, legal marijuana is expected to become more than a $6bn (£3.5bn) business in Canada in 2019, with up to $4.34bn (£2.5bn) coming from the legal recreational market and as much as $1.79bn (£1.04) from medical sales.
The move fulfils a campaign promise of Canada PM Justin Trudeau who claimed decriminalising the drug would keep profits out of the hands of crooks.
Canada has legalised marijuana for recreational use, making it the largest country with a legal national pot market.
This has created a patchwork of legislation across the country as jurisdictions choose more or less restrictive frameworks for selling and using cannabis.
The supply of recreational marijuana could be limited, at least early on, in some stores.
Ontario won't have any stores open until April, after the new conservative government scrapped a plan for state-owned stores in favor of privately run shops. Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth confirmed this week that 62 applications have been reviewed so far, and 35 are close to being approved.
"October 18th is going to look very much like October 16th, in many ways", Farnworth said.
Legalisation began at midnight with shops in Canada's eastern-most provinces the first to sell the drug.
Aphria Inc. and Canopy Growth Corp. opened lower on the first day of legalization.
Law enforcement going forward could be patchy.
On day one of the new legal cannabis regime, BNN Bloomberg's Jameson Berkow walks us through a purchase of sativa capsules made through the Ontario Cannabis Store website. The regulations governing when, where, and how one can buy and ingest marijuana in Canada also vary by province.
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