No stores will open in Ontario, which includes Toronto.
"It's a bit of a historic day in Canada", he said.
"Prohibition has ended right now".
The chief executive of Ontario-based licensed cannabis producer Aphria Inc., Vic Neufeld, last week warned that there would be "sold out" signs due to supply chain issues plaguing every licensed producer.
"It's significant for all Canadians", McCarthy said.
Akwasi Owusu-Bempah, an assistant sociology professor at the University of Toronto who supports the amnesty campaign, told Al Jazeera before the announcement that "cannabis law enforcement has historically had a disproportionate impact on Canada's Indigenous, racialised and marginalised populations".
"I'm hoping what they're going to say is that, 'These are the things that we are going to be looking for, these are things that are unacceptable, and do not even attempt to try that".
Alan Clark has been waiting about 20 years for the legalization of marijuana. The paper published a completely earnest infographic on how to roll a joint, titled "I just bought cannabis".
"We'll be talking about that in the coming days and weeks", he said before heading into a cabinet meeting. Canadian officials have said they want to take a "public health approach" to limit youth access to pot, displace the illegal market, and ensure safety requirements for cannabis, according to a fact sheet on the initiative.
Media got a tour of the B.C. Cannabis Store in Kamloops Wednesday morning, prior to the doors opening to the public at 10 a.m.
Each item comes with a government seal - the word cannabis above a red Maple leaf - and people can also make their purchases online, or at more than 100 stories the Associated Press reported would be open across the country.
"Give it a month and it'll just be like a grocery store".
However, Goodale says one challenge in drafting the legislation is that it will also have to deal with provincial justice systems.More news: Google to charge smartphone makers for Google Play in Europe
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Shawna Cormier wanted to see for herself what the legalization of marijuana in Saint John looked like.
"I wanted to be the first one buying recreational cannabis in Montreal and I did it", Huge Senecal said. "It's kind of like Christmas".
Wall Street analysts now think the cannabis market, while still volatile, could expand beyond recreational and medical use into food, beverages, pharmaceuticals and other areas.
"There's no money in the product itself", she said. "I imagine they'll be made a lot more accountable for the amount of product they're producing and moving".
Hazen Calebrese is a former federal prosecutor in Fredericton who prosecuted narcotics cases, including marijuana during the 1980s.
The day was historic for the country as Canadian adults will be able to legally smoke recreational marijuana after almost a century-long ban. We are working hard to get it up and running.
Under the new plan, people could apply immediately as long as they have completed their sentence, Goodale told a news conference today.
The federal government is now eyeing ways to expedite pardons for minor pot convictions. "I never thought in my lifetime that I'd see this". But he's not complaining.
Canadians 18 or 19, depending on the province or territory, will be able to buy and use fresh dried cannabis, cannabis oil, plants and seeds for cultivation from regulated retailers beginning Wednesday.
Legalizing the substance is supposed to act as a black market deterrent and tax revenue generator, but critics in New Brunswick argue that it will do neither.
He wrote in his high-school yearbook that his dream was to open a cafe in Amsterdam, the Dutch city where people have legally smoked weed in coffee shops since the 1970s.
Prices on BC Cannabis Stores website range from $6.99 a gram to $56.99 for 3.5 grams. That works out to around $16.28 per gram.