Canada sets October start for legal recreational marijuana sales

TORONTO (Reuters) – Marijuana sales will become legal in Canada beginning October 17, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Wednesday, making it the first major economy to legalize its recreational use.

Smoke rises during the annual 4/20 marijuana rally on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, April 20, 2018. REUTERS/Chris Wattie

Stocks of marijuana producers, which have rallied in anticipation of legalization, extended gains on Wednesday after the Senate voted on Tuesday to approve adult use of cannabis.

Officials said the governor general was expected to sign the bill on Thursday, the final step for it to become law.

The start date marks a delay by the government, which had previously said recreational use of marijuana would become legal within eight to 12 weeks of the law being passed.

Canada’s 10 provinces had complained to Ottawa that that schedule was too tight for them to set up distribution and sales networks.

“We’ve listened to the provinces, which have been asking us for more time to implement it,” Trudeau told legislators.

Shares of Canopy Growth Corp, Canada’s biggest marijuana producer by market value, closed up 6.7 percent C$45.36 in…

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