The world is reacting as legal marijuana sales began nationwide for the first time in the industrialized world yesterday, as Canada commenced sales of marijuana to all adults over the age of 21.
On Wednesday, as the clock struck midnight, the Tweed store in St. John’s, Newfoundland held an official event to mark the beginning of Canada’s adult-use market. The world’s media flocked to the easternmost point of the continent to get the iconic shot of Canada’s first legal sale.
Bruce Linton, CEO of Tweed’s parent company Canopy Growth, braved the fall weather of the North Atlantic to run the till for the first sale.
“A little bit of that hurricane thing made it interesting, but we just had to be here,” Linton told the CBC prior to making the first sale, noting the gloomy weather that set the stage for the historic night.
— Canopy Growth (@CanopyGrowth) October 17, 2018
After a 10 second countdown, Canadian citizens Ian Power and Nikki Rose made the first legal cannabis purchase in Canada. Power told the CBC that it’s been a dream of his to make history and be the first person to buy a legal gram of cannabis in Canada. “And finally I’m here,” he said.
Not long after the sale, Linton congratulated Power telling him he made history. Power was quick to cut him off saying, “We all made history.”
On Wednesday afternoon, Power spoke exclusively with Cannabis Now about how his adventure went down.
“I knew the 17th was going to be the day, I knew a month ago I’d go,” Power said over the phone from Newfoundland. “I knew in all my 30 years smoking cannabis that I was going to be first. So when I heard the date, I said I’m going to line up.”
Powell’s friends told him he may not be first, as they predicting the crowds would be substantial.
If you think the lineup inside was wild…have a look at this! Hundreds waiting outside Tweed on Water Street to buy legal cannabis. Big crowd down the street at The Natural Vibe as well.@CBCNL pic.twitter.com/HxdUZidLq1
— Zach Goudie (@zachgoudie) October 17, 2018
“So yesterday, I took a ride past [Tweed] around quarter to eight, but there was nobody there,” said Power. “So I went home took a quick shower and grabbed a bite to eat then got back there about 8:30. There was nobody in line and I just stood in line and did my thing.”
While he waited, Power faced 70-kilometer wind gusts, but at least it was nine degrees above freezing.
“It was cold but I didn’t really feel it, the adrenaline of the moment kept me warm,” said Power.
Three and a half hours later, Tweed opened the doors.
Power said he was pleased to lead 35 million Canadians into the era of legal cannabis and noted that this is the culmination of decades and decades of work of many people.
“I made history, we made history,” he said. “Canadian activists, they all made history. It all came together in one moment and I’m just so glad I was the person that was there to be in that moment.”
Power’s purchase was a Chemdawg offshoot strain called Donegal. While it sounds nice, he says he won’t be smoking it. His plan is to frame it with a dated plaque, simply reading, “We won.”
Early on Wednesday morning, a few hours after Power’s purchase, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also chimed in on the historic nature of the day. Trudeau has championed Canada’s legalization effort since he took the reins in Ottawa in 2016, and as he noted on Twitter, this is a big stamp on a campaign promise.
— Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) October 17, 2018
With Oct. 17 being the most important day in Canada since the invention of hockey, it also seemed only appropriate to hear from the nation’s best hockey player. Last night, the captain of the Edmonton Oilers, Connor McDavid, spoke on the league’s overall blanket ban on pot in light of the day’s events.
“I say this more talking about the CBD side of it, obviously: You’d be stupid not to at least look into it,” McDavid said. “When your body’s sore like it is sometimes, you don’t want to be taking pain stuff and taking Advil all the time. There’s obviously better ways to do it… You’re seeing a lot of smart guys look into it. You’re seeing a lot of really smart doctors look into it. If all the boxes are checked there and it’s safe and everything like that, then I think you would maybe hear them out.”
South of the border in the United States, Washington Governor Jay Inslee chimed in calling on Congress to follow Canada’s example.
Welcome @Canada to marijuana legalization. It’s time for Congress to acknowledge that marijuana legalization is working in states like Washington, Colorado, and others and legalize marijuana as well. https://t.co/p1sKJ50BFu
— Jay Inslee (@JayInslee) October 17, 2018
TELL US, what would you buy if you made the first purchase in Canada?