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Summary

  1. Canada is the second - and most populous - nation to legalise cannabis for recreational use
  2. As of midnight, it is no longer illegal for adults over 18 to purchase, possess or grow recreational cannabis
  3. Canada's 10 provinces and three territories are responsible for determining their own laws governing the drug
  4. Legalisation was a 2015 election pledge by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau
  5. It's unclear if 500,000 Canadians with criminal convictions for marijuana will have their records cleared

Live Reporting

By Max Matza and Courtney Subramanian

All times stated are UK

  1. 'Legalization Day' continues...

    People getting high in Toronto

    ...but our live coverage has concluded.

    Thanks for following the BBC's reporting on Canada's historic day, in which the Commonwealth nation became the largest country in the world to allow legal marijuana.

    Across the country, Canadians over 19 are now permitted to consume marijuana for the sheer pleasure of it.

    Each province is responsible for determining their own laws and regulations, and the exact ways that the laws will be enforced are still being decided.

    But one thing is for certain - Canadian cannabis is here to stay.

    For our continuing coverage, read our news story here:

    Canada becomes second country to legalise recreational marijuana

  2. Canada not clouded by legalisation

    Robin Levinson King, BBC News, Toronto

    Those expecting Canada to be have been enveloped by a thick cloud at the stroke of midnight may have been disappointed.

    Although there was plenty of celebration across the country, for the most part people just went on with their lives. In Toronto, Canada’s most populous city, the streets were practically smoke-free.

    The city is in the province of Ontario, which has banned smoking marijuana in public for now. That means the city’s many “Legalization Day” parties have been relegated to private businesses.

    At Black Hot Coffee, a fire pit kept friends and customers on the chilly October patio. The downtown café had joined forces with its next-door neighbour paraphernalia shop – The Friendly Stranger - to host a "wake and bake" breakfast party.

    The province isn’t allowing storefront retail until April - meaning the only way to buy weed legally there is online.

    But that hasn’t stopped entrepreneurs from trying to cash in. In the years since the government made their intentions to legalise clear, unlicensed pot shops have flourished across the city. Some have been raided by police, who estimate there are as many as 80 in operation.

    On Wednesday, some of those businesses had shuttered to avoid potential crack-downs. Cafe, an “Amsterdam-style coffee shop” in the downtown, wasn’t one of them, however.

    A staff member there told me that many illegal dispensaries will keep open while they can.

    Although the day may come when they are formally shut down, for now it’s "business as usual".

  3. Toronto lights up

    Patrons gather at Toronto's Trinity Bellwoods Park to light up in celebration.

    a huge joint being lit
    an exceptionally large joint
    a joint being rolled
  4. Plans to grow

    Jessica Murphy, BBC News, British Columbia

    The interior of the BC Cannabis Store in Kamloops, British Columbia is described by its provincial government owners as "west coast casual".

    It's all clean white lines, subtle decorative details and Art Deco displays.

    The windows are frosted - to prevent people from being able to see the product sold from the outside, as per regulations - with an attractive gradient image of the mountains that surround the town.

    Kevin Satterfield, the director of store operation, has a background in retail, including with a major electronics company.

    He says he wants people to "feel welcome and invited to the store".

    It carries 92 current buds from 40 licensed producers, a range he says they are proud of but plan to expand.

    "It's our first store and it's going to be a learning store," he said.

    Associates have been training for some five weeks and people with a retail background in the grey or black market are included among the 20 new hires.

  5. Ford: Protecting kids is top priority

    Ontario's premier Doug Ford - brother of late Toronto mayor Rob Ford - says protecting kids will be the government's top priority.

    Ford has been critical of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for not giving law enforcement the tools to keep citizens safe post-legalisation.

    “Make no mistake, by rushing legal cannabis out of the door before ensuring police have the tools they need, the Trudeau Liberals are putting people at risk," he said during a speech to the Ontario police, Global News reported.

    View more on twitter
  6. Actor Seth Rogen voices his appreciation

    Canadian actor Seth Rogen, who recently lent his voice to the Vancouver and Toronto subway systems, has tweeted about the "pride" he is feeling today.

    View more on twitter

    Over the summer, he began reading PSA for the public transport service.

    "I cant believe I'm actually going to say this..." one of his PSAs begins.

    Have a listen:

    Video content

    Video caption: Actor Seth Rogen has recorded messages for Toronto's subway
  7. 'My new dealer is the prime minister'

    Famed Canadian fiddle player Ashley MacIsaac was first in line to buy ganja in Cape Breton Island on Wednesday after camping out there overnight.

    "I don’t need to be a criminal anymore, and that’s a great feeling," he told the Ottawa Citizen as he emerged with his fresh pot.

    "And my new dealer is the prime minister!"

    MacIsaac was charged with marijuana possession in 2001, and has been an outspoken advocated for legalisation for decades.

    "In all those cases I was a criminal, so here I was shaking hands with the Queen, and I’m a criminal. Here I am performing for cabinet ministers, and I’m a criminal. Here I am performing for square dancers in West Mabou, and I’m a criminal."

    View more on twitter
  8. Hitting a bong on the local news

    Watch as morning news anchor Sue Deyell receives a lesson on how to use a bong on her live radio programme.

    One Twitter user posted the video with the caption: "Meanwhile in Canada..."

    View more on youtube
  9. Sales figures so far

    Shopify, which is powering many of the government-run online cannabis stores, says they are seeing more than 100 orders being made per minute, according to the Canadian Press.

    Doug Ford, the premier of Ontario province, says the government-run store there had processed 38,000 sales by mid-morning.

    Ontario has not opened any legal shops, meaning legal sales can only be made online for the moment.

  10. Who was the last to repeal the weed ban?

    South Africans celebrate marijuana decriminalisation
    Image caption: Cannabis is referred to as "dagga" in South Africa.

    South Africa's Constitutional Court ruled last month that cannabis use by adults will no longer be considered a crime.

    In his judgement, Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo said: "It will not be a criminal offence for an adult person to use or be in possession of cannabis in private for his or her personal consumption."

    It will, however, remain illegal to use cannabis in public, and to sell and supply it.

    As the ruling was rendered, activists chanted "Weed are free now" inside the public gallery of the nation's highest court.

    Read more about it here.

    South Africa's highest court legalises cannabis use

  11. Slow moving lines

    In Montreal over 100 people are standing in line in cold rain for a chance to buy legal weed on #legalizationday.

    Freelance reporter Tracey Lindeman has tweeted images outside the SQDC store, which is only permitting 25 shoppers inside at a time.

    People are asking lots of questions, which is causing the line to move slowly, she reports.

    One man, who clearly thought ahead, brought 10 joints with him for the wait.

    View more on twitter
  12. What did your weed cost?

    Statistics Canada is asking marijuana customers to log on to their website and let them know how much they paid for their weed.

    The government agency is tracking everything about cannabis, including the average age and gender of users, and where use is most prevalent.

    A BBC team is currently reporting live from British Columbia, which ranks highest in marijuana consumption.

    The price of a gram of dried herb has consistently fallen since 2017, according to one graph.

    Another more alarming stat said 5% (1.5m) of Canadians over 15 years old have been passengers in a vehicle that was operated by a driver who had consumed Cannabis within the previous two hours.

    View more on twitter
  13. Dinosaurs and egg sandwiches in Edmonton

    A CBC reporter in the city of Edmonton has this amusing Twitter thread, which shows queues (99% men!) forming amid some live entertainment.

    "Prehistoric vibes on a historic day," tweeted Andrea Ross, along with video of a man in a dinosaur costume.

    View more on twitter
    View more on twitter
  14. US officials hold briefing

    The Detroit-Windsor tunnel, which connects the US and Canada
    Image caption: The Detroit-Windsor tunnel, which connects the US and Canada

    Christopher Perry who heads operations for the US Customs and Border Patrol in Detroit, held a press conference on Wednesday at the Detroit-Windsor tunnel to Canada - the second busiest border crossing between the two countries.

    He said that people crossing the US will be treated the same as they were yesterday.

    "The questions will be the same," he said, adding: "We generally aren't asking questions about people's marijuana use."

    "Although medical and recreational marijuana may be legal in some US states and Canada, the sale, possession, production, and distribution of marijuana or the facilitation of the aforementioned remain illegal under US federal law," he said.

    US customs official
  15. Online weed sales begin

    One Twitter user posted her bill, after she apparently purchased four joints on her phone from a government-run website.

    According to the Calgary Herald, 11,000 people were waiting at one point to make purchases from the website albertacannabis.org.

    View more on twitter
  16. "Start low, go slow"

    British Columbia's first legal cannabis stores have opened, and the BBC's Jessica Murphy was there to see the moment.

    Shoppers can view and smell the cannabis bud - sometimes known as flowers - in what kind of appear to be tilted wine glasses.

    View more on twitter
    View more on twitter
    View more on twitter