Nfld. & Labrador·Weekend briefing

After Wednesday, will we be able to see the forest for the weed?

And by the way, there's something else that really has people hooked in Newfoundland and Labrador.

If someone were to mention the word "prohibition" to you in everyday conversation, we imagine your brain would go straight to those 13 dry years in the United States when alcohol was outlawed. 


That was then. There's a new use of the word at the moment, though, and we think you're going to hear more about it in the coming days. 

Specifically, Wednesday. 

Canadians have been getting ready for Oct. 17 for some time: it's the day that buying cannabis will no longer be illegal. 

Because of time zones, the first burst of legal bud buying will be here in St. John's. Premier Dwight Ball told us that there's no reason the first purchase can't be made at 12:01 a.m. 

Midnight tokers, indeed! 

Before Ball mentioned the midnight hour, someone running the most prominent company in this soon-to-be-legal business had stated he will be on Water Street to make a purchase — and a point. 

Some cannabis enthusiasts are planning to be in a party mood on Wednesday. (John Gushue/CBC)

Bruce Linton is the chief executive officer of Canopy Growth, which is opening stores under the brand of Tweed. Newsrooms like ours got a note from Canopy last week, inviting media to join Linton at Tweed's "brick-and-mortar store as he purchases the first legal gram of cannabis in the country and celebrates the end of prohibition here in Canada." 

Sounds like the end of an era. Will it be that significant? 

In the long run, and for many people, definitely. Unless the law reverts (and don't count that out), generations of kids not yet born will probably ask their grandparents what life was like to smoke up illegally.

Given the plethora of products coming on the market (oils, capsules and yes, what Tweed calls "flower"), it's clear that cannabis is going to be a presence that we have not seen before. 

Except that we've been seeing behaviours change already, and in public. 

Here's a tweet we saw a few weeks ago that really resonated. 

This is true. On Water Street, the very road where Tweed will be setting up its flagship presence, change is already in the air.

Even though the law will restrict use to private residences, we can likely expect for our noses to know that more than just the law has changed.  

Putting it on our tab  

Some remarkable numbers emerged earlier this month about how we spend our money. 

In the run of a year, consumers in Newfoundland and Labrador spend $405.5 million on Atlantic Lottery Corp. products — or, to put it another way, more than $1 million every day. (To be more exact, about $1.11 million a day; that extra $110,000 a day, after all, is nothing to sneeze at.) 

If that sounds like a lot of money, well, yeah, it is. We have the (arguably dubious) distinction of being the province that spends the most on lottery products. 

And there's one in particular that dominates: break-open tickets. Of every 10 pull-tab tickets sold in the four Atlantic provinces, seven are sold here. That adds up to about $90 million, just for break-open tickets — a staple purchase in many a neighbourhood gas station or convenience store. 

Our colleague Dan MacEachern had this insight into the popularity — and ubiquity of scratch tickets. 

Lars, custard and nostalgia

Lar's Fruit Mart may have closed its doors 15 years ago, but the love for the store — and its custard cones — remains as intense as those cones were creamy and soft.


We asked people for their memories of the downtown St. John's shop … and we were overwhelmed. 

We received more than 500 comments on Facebook and Twitter of favourite memories.

The outpouring of nostalgia compelled us to take a longer stroll down memory lane with the iconic St. John's store.

Look for that story soon.

Fun with footballs (and photos) 

Our inbox overflows with photos from around Newfoundland and Labrador, and we could not be more delighted. 

Here's one that really brought a smile to our face. 

These kids were having a ball (literally) last weekend, at the Saturday Night Lights event in St. John's with Avalon Minor Football. (Submitted by Jason Dicks)

Feel free to get involved. We feature a lot of the photos we receive in our weekly gallery (the latest is below), some appear every weeknight on Here & Now, and we also post images to our social media feeds. To submit a shot, send it and a caption to nlphotos@cbc.ca — make sure you tell us where it was taken! 

In the meantime, here's our latest gallery. 

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      What am I reading, anyway? 

      Last week, we debuted Weekend Briefing, which we intend to be something you'll look forward to every Saturday morning … or whenever you choose to read it. 

      We want to bring you some insights into the news, round up some story threads, bring a different perspective to what's been in news, and take you behind the scenes a bit. 

      We'll see you next week! 

      Weekend Briefing this week was compiled by John Gushue and Stephanie Kinsella 

      Read more articles from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador