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Canada Recreational Marijuana Sales Start Today

October 16, 2018

Today, Canada recreational marijuana sales commence in every province from east to west, but the majority of customers won’t be walking into a dispensary to purchase their cannabis, it’ll mostly be ordered online. As the second largest country to legalize adult-use cannabis at the national level, Canada is positioned to generate $6.5 billion in sales by the year 2020.

First Day of Sales

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that October 17th would be the first day of Canada recreational marijuana sales back in June. This decision to legalize recreational marijuana was prompted in an effort to eliminate the black market and regulate the industry while collecting tax revenue. Making cannabis federally legal also allows the industry to grow exponentially as compared to the U.S. Marijuana businesses will have access to banking, investment, shipment between the provinces, and postal delivery.

While only around 100 brick and mortar dispensaries will be opening for the first day of sales, most consumers will be ordering their cannabis directly from the government website and have it sent to their front door. Canada recreational marijuana sales won’t be available in the most densely populated province, Ontario, until April of next year but there will be an unlimited amount of licenses for cannabis retailers.

Private Cannabis Retailers vs. Government Run Dispensaries

Storefronts will vary from province to province as some have chosen to allow private retailers while others will authorize government-run liquor stores to handle retail sales. British Columbia already has several medical cannabis dispensaries that are unlicensed and considered illicit by the local government. Many of these will be remain open and while no crackdown is expected initially, however the Ministry of Public Safety will be establishing a team of inspectors to shut down unlicensed dispensaries.

Establishing a Regulated Marketplace

Executive Director of the Marijuana Policy Project, Steve Hawkins, noted that, "Canada is setting a strong example for how to end marijuana prohibition at the national level and replace it with a system of regulated production and sales that is largely governed at the local level. The U.S. and other countries grappling with the complexities of such a significant policy shift will have an excellent opportunity to learn from the Canadian experience.”

Hawkins went on to say that, "The Canadian model is rather similar to what many envision for the U.S., and in many ways it mirrors what is happening here, as states have taken the lead in regulating commercial cannabis activity. The big difference—and it is a critical difference—is the blessing provincial governments have received from their federal government. It is time for Congress to step up and take similar action to harmonize our nation's state and federal marijuana policies.”

Compliant Software for Dispensaries

There is no doubt that today will see record breaking sales for cannabis in Canada, and many industry insiders predict that many private retailers will be sold out. As more and more dispensaries obtain licenses they will need to acquire a cannabis specific point of sale system to maintain compliance with provincial regulations.

IndicaOnline is one of the most trusted dispensary software services in the cannabis industry and is already taking step to simplify compliance for Canadian retailers. Learn more about our all-in-one solution by scheduling a free demo with one of our training specialists.