During the 2015 election run, the Liberals promised Canadians that they would legalize cannabis if elected. On Oct. 17, they made the drug legal across the country. This made Canada only the second country in the world to have a legal, taxed, and heavily regulated cannabis marketplace.
The Alberta government’s website (albertacannabis.org) was the first legal place to offer cannabis in the province, opening at 12:01 am on Oct. 17. So many people checked out the site and placed orders that the website crashed briefly and it did not take long for the website to run out of the more popular products.
Long lines and celebrations were found at brick and mortar cannabis shops across the city as they opened on legalization day. Those lines continued from open to close for two days before many of the stores ran out of products.
It was a similar scene over at NUMO Cannabis located at 11733 95 Street.
Ryan Seeras, one of the partners at NUMO Cannabis, said, “On opening day we had a lineup all the way from 10 am to midnight.” They were originally only going to stay open till 10 pm, but the demand was so high they stayed open till midnight. “At 10 pm we started cutting people off and had to apologize. If we had not done it, we would not have been able to close.”
Seeras added, “We started to run out of the high potency strains on the very first day. By 2 pm the very next day, we were pretty much sold out.”
Seeras said that the staff at the store are very knowledgeable and ready to educate patrons on their products.
Although you can get pre-rolled joints, dry buds, and oils, edibles are still missing. Edibles are still not legal in Canada because governments are determining how to best regulate them. There are fears that edibles are too appealing to children. The appeal to children is a bit of a double standard when you think about the fact that we sell bubble gum-flavoured vodka and Pop Shoppe coolers. But people can always buy cannabis oils and, with the help of some online cookbooks, just make their own for the time being.
An important thing to remember is just because cannabis is legal does not mean it is a free-for-all. On top of federal regulations, municipal jurisdictions have come up with their own rules to govern the use of cannabis products. Edmonton’s Can(nabis) and Can’t(abis) campaign is the City’s way of getting the new rules out in a fun way to the community.
It looks like we will not be having any cannabis cafes anytime soon. It does, however, seem that public consumption will be allowed in certain places. Just remember that we all share the air, so respect the rules and the people around you. Do not smoke cannabis within 10 meters of any door, window, or intake vent. Do not smoke in parks, around playgrounds, or around schools. And never smoke cannabis and drive.
Featured Image: Cannabis stores, like NUMO Cannabis, sold out of products shortly after they opened. | Steven Townsend