Your Canadian Legalization-Day Guide

Here’s what you need to know about legally buying weed in each Canadian province come Oct. 17.

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Recreational cannabis legalization loomed in Canada for months. However, cannabis’ Canadian christening is now right around the corner. Read on for all the details on where to buy bud come October 17.

As with any new legislation, change takes place at midnight in each time zone. Thus, our breakdown will start in the eastern provinces.


24 private retail cannabis storefronts will be open on legalization day. No surprise that Loblaw will operate the most locations at 10, followed by Canopy Growth Corp. with six sites. A few mom-and-pops are on the list as well, such as Tobin’s Convenience in Labrador City.


The 4 stores opening in this province will be government-owned. The province has signed supply deals with various producers to supply Charlottetown, Summerside, Montague, and the West Prince region.


The Nova Scotia Liquor Commission will retail pot in eleven NSLC locations across the province. 150 cannabis products will be sold in their stores, and one location in downtown Halifax will sell only marijuana products.


Cannabis NB stores, the provincial pot outlets, have been ready to open since June. After the federal government postponed legalization, the province figures its projected revenues halved. There will be 20 locations.


The Société Québécoise de Cannabis (SQDC) will open 20 storefronts. This is the same number as New Brunswick for twice as many people. Moreover, they will roll out gradually.


The Ontario Cannabis Store (OCS) will start with an online retail format as of Oct. 17, with no physical locations. Private businesses will handle the bricks and mortar sales, however no details are public. The details should be forthcoming in spring.


4 cannabis consortiums will open 30 cannabis stores in the central province. Delta 9 Cannabis is to have 4 stores in Winnipeg, Brandon and Thompson. Furthermore, National Access Cannabis will have 10 storefronts across the province under the banner Meta Cannabis Supply Co. They will also have 5 on First Nations via local partnerships. Additionally, Canopy Growth will also have 10 stores under the Tokyo Smoke brand.


A lottery draw of qualified candidates selected 51 winning cannabis retailers to open storefronts upon legalization. While the lottery was controversial, some note that it encouraged largely local ownership of the outlets.


In the wild west, the Alberta Gaming, Liquor and Cannabis Commission placed no limit on applications for private pot retailers. They estimate 150 stores will be authorized, stocked and staffed by legalization. Municipalities, however, will decide on the number of retailers allowed to operate in their districts.


While the westernmost province plans to introduce a mix of public and private, it isn’t well organized yet. The province signed supply agreements with 31 producers and announced a location for its first BC Cannabis Store – a shopping center in interior B.C.. Nonetheless, it has not updated the public since making that announcement.


Although the territory will open a government-run location temporarily after legalization, it also plans to draft rules for private enterprise.


6 government-run liquor stores will stock cannabis products on their shelves on Oct. 17. Private retailers will also enter the market around December 2018.


There are no plans to allow physical cannabis stores in Nunavut.

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