Nfld. & Labrador

Legal weed can go on sale at 12:01 a.m. on Oct. 17, says premier

The NLC has released allowed hours of operation for marijuana retailers.

'We're going to leave that to the operators,' says Dwight Ball

Premier Dwight Ball says legal recreational cannabis can be purchased just after midnight on Oct. 17 if licensed stores are open at the time. (Eddy Kennedy/CBC)

The premier of Newfoundland and Labrador says people will be able to buy cannabis as the clock strikes midnight between Oct. 16 and Oct. 17, legalization day.

At least, until they have to close at 2 a.m.

"I'm sure there's some people who will want to make history to some degree, and be the first purchaser or one of the early purchasers," Dwight Ball told CBC News on Thursday.

"We're going to leave that to the operators. These are the people that will develop where the marketing trends will be for them, but I'm anticipating there will be a lot of early [adopters]."

The NLC has set hours for pot retailers as 9 a.m. until 2 a.m., seven days a week. Retailers will be able to set their own hours within that timeframe. (Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

The Newfoundland and Labrador Liquor Corporation announced Friday afternoon that pot retailers will be allowed to operate between 9 a.m. and 2 a.m., seven days a week.

Retailers will be allowed to set their own hours within that timeframe.

Cannabis N.L. is the exclusive online retailer for non-medical cannabis and will launch at 12:01 a.m. on Oct. 17, as well, the NLC said in its release.

Products and pricing will not be released until the website is launched, the NLC said.

Edibles will be a 'game-changer'

Ball, a former pharmacist, said the country is in the early days of regulation, and added that what the rules look like Oct. 17 will likely be different from what they look like next year and beyond.

"I think what you see with cannabis in terms of regulations and legislation around cannabis use in our province will evolve over time," he said.

"For me, when you see the edibles, that will be a big game-changer in the future as well. Not for me, I've never used cannabis, but for those that decide to do so, the edibles within a year or so will be a game-changer as well."

On Oct. 17 cannabis will be legal to purchase for recreational use. (Martin Trainor/CBC)

Ball said he's not interested in trying it himself.

"What I want to make sure is that our young people that make a decision, and those that make a decision, to use cannabis, they do not get tied up in the long legal battles, you know, that we've seen in the past," he said.

"So maybe those that see it has a place in society, they will now do so, and they will be able to so legally, so that's important for me," he said.

Ball said it's already easier for minors in Newfoundland and Labrador to get marijuana than alcohol, and the province needs to make sure the legal cannabis industry is regulated and safe.

With files from Fred Hutton and The St. John's Morning Show

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