WATCH: This is the day marijuana advocates and cannabis users have been waiting for. It’s now legal for them to light up. Outside the B.C. legislature on Wednesday evening, free joints and seeds were being handed out during a pot party to mark the historic day. Tess van Straaten reports.
There were high fives and cheers of excitement in St. John’s, Newfoundland at midnight as a pot purchase made Canadian history.
Ian Power had the dubious distinction of buying the first legal gram of weed.
“I feel great! The stigma ends tonight. Prohibition has ended right now, we made history,” Power said.
And business was booming throughout the day as sales kicked off across the country. In Kamloops where B.C’s only legal cannabis shop drew big crowds, Becky Prett was the first in line.
“I actually thought I was going to be a couple blocks back, but I was really shocked that I was the first person here,” Prett said.
Online sales on the new B.C. government website also lit up — with close to 5,300 orders by 1 p.m.
But it was business as usual at the Cannabis Buyers Club in Victoria, which is the oldest marijuana dispensary in Canada and possibly the world.
“My head is like, yay! We’ve won and my gut is like oh no, what are they doing?” Ted Smith, founder of the Cannabis Buyers Club, said.
The club isn’t applying for a provincial license because it sells edibles for medicinal marijuana patients. To become legal, they’d have to stop doing that so Smith says it’s only a matter of time before they’re shut down along with other illegal pot shops in B.C.
“Today’s a real bittersweet day for me. My life’s work has been validated. At the same time, patients are really been left out of the equation here,” Smith said.
Other cannabis shops in Victoria decided to close while they go through the application process.