Cannabis stocks are rebounding Thursday, gaining after a lackluster day Wednesday, as Canada's recreational marijuana legalization looks to be off to a good start, and as two Canadian pot producers seek listings on the New York Stock Exchange.
The change was praised by pot enthusiasts and investors in a budding industry that has seen pot stocks soar on the Toronto and NY stock exchanges, but sharply questioned by some health professionals and opposition politicians.
"That they've agreed to have a referendum shows how far the debate has come in New Zealand", says Steve Rolles, a senior policy analyst at Transform, a global drug law reform organization based in England. Canadian police chiefs, as well as many Indigenous, provincial and municipal leaders, continue to point out the need for additional funding to police the new legislation, and not all are convinced it is likely to reduce the involvement of organized crime but on the contrary may even have the opposite effect.
Its implementation would be scrutinized and dissected by Canadians ahead of an election next year, as well as other nations that the prime minister has said could follow suit if the measure proves a success.
"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", he said in a written statement.
"My father is going to be my first customer, and my second customer is going to be a lady who has [multiple sclerosis],' Thomas Clarke, who owns Thomas H. Clarke's Distribution cannabis retail store in Portugal Cove-St".
Consumers buying cannabis products are responsible for paying the applicable Tax (GST/HST) depending on the province or territory where the product is purchased (5%, to 15%). Around 4.9 million already smoke.
Ian Power was first in line at a store in St. John's, Newfoundland, but didn't plan to smoke the 1 gram he bought right after legalization arrived at midnight.
"I am going to frame it and hang it on my wall".
However, it remains illegal to possess more than 30 grams of cannabis in public, grow more than four plants per household or buy from an unlicensed dealer.
The online-only Ontario Cannabis Store would not release specific numbers, but spokesman Daffyd Roderick said "the response to cannabis legalization has resulted in a high volume of orders".
To meet demand, hundreds of growers have been licensed, some taking over horticulture and floriculture greenhouses. With Canadian youth considered by UNICEF as the most frequent users of marijuana in the developed world, the legalisation of cannabis for recreational use will not - as the government has claimed - restrict young people's access to marijuana or diminish their use of it.
Public awareness campaigns have also begun regarding the same.
Police, meanwhile, are scrambling to prepare for a predicted uptick in drug-impaired driving. But as Erik Altieri, the executive director of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana laws (NORML), put it recently: what happens in Canada needs to stay in Canada.
"Profits out of the hands of criminals..."
"When you buy cannabis it's not going to be like going to Amazon and having packages left at the door", Mulroney said earlier this week.