Canadians were seen rushing to buy recreational marijuana on Thursday after its legalisation by the country’s apex court.
Most consumers were exuberant about the end of prohibition, but a few expressed disappointment over not being able to buy cannabis on the first day.
Others balked at the relatively high prices — ranging from Can$5.25 (US$4.02) in Quebec to Can$18.99 in Saskatchewan per gram — compared to the black market that saw average prices plunge in the last year to Can$6.79 per gram.
After waiting seven hours in line at a store in downtown Montreal on Wednesday, Alexandre, 30, said he was turned away at closing at 9 pm (0100 GMT).
Police stepped in to disperse the crowd, without incident.
“It was hell, it was cold,” Alexandre said. “But we had fun anyway, talking with people in the crowd and sharing joints.”
He was back early Thursday morning to try again. “Yesterday was the day that everyone was waiting for but I think that little by little the queue will decrease,” he said.
Genevieve Despres was one of the lucky ones to make it inside the store on Wednesday.
She described the scene in line as “super friendly, we sang, we laughed, I made friends.” “I do not usually smoke but since it was a historic day for Canada I thought I’d try,” she told AFP.
In Ontario, Canada’s most populated province, 38,000 orders for weed worth about Can$750,000 were processed in the first few hours Wednesday (total figures for the day were not yet available), while in neighbouring Quebec 42,000 orders were processed in-store and online, smashing all expectations.
“This volume of orders far exceeds the forecasts of the SQDC,” the Quebec government pot retailer said.