A new era begins in Canada Wednesday when it becomes only the second country to legalize recreational marijuana.
Although medicinal pot has been legal since 2001, Canada will join Uruguay as the only nation where customers can buy it in retail shops.
The first cannabis store opens at midnight Wednesday in Newfoundland, the country’s easternmost province.
Each of the 13 provinces will set its own rules for selling marijuana. Some will allow private shops while others will only sell it through government-run stores. But mail order sales will be permitted across all of Canada.
Only licensed growers can sell marijuana on the retail market.
The federal minimum age for using marijuana is 18, but most provinces have set it at 19.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau began the push to legalize marijuana across the country more than two years ago, in part, to shut down the black market and prevent underage use. (VOA)