Canada is less than two days away from becoming just the second nation in the world with legal cannabis. But as Canada’s legal industry comes online this Wednesday, the nation’s vast and well-established network of marijuana retailers is about to become more illegal than ever. Once Canada’s Cannabis Act, Bill C-45, takes effect, unlicensed private retailers won’t just be breaking the law, they’ll also forfeit any chance of ever obtaining a license to operate legally. And that’s why British Columbia officials are advising the province’s dispensaries to shut down by Wednesday. Assuming most will, cannabis consumers in B.C. may have a hard time purchasing cannabis from a legal storefront. When Oct. 17 rolls around, B.C. will have just one licensed retail store.
Illicit B.C. Weed Dispensaries Advised to Shut Down Ahead of Legalization
Across Canada, illicit dispensaries have served as a kind of stopgap for non-medical cannabis consumers as the country wound its inevitable way toward legalization. These private, unlicensed, non-medical retailers were never legal, of course, but they operated as a kind of open secret. And aside from routine raids and crackdowns, officials have largely turned a blind eye to these underground “pharmacies,” especially with full legalization on the