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Canada  

Black market still fills need

Canada's booming illicit pot market now faces competition from approved retailers but it can bank on the appeal of items like gummies, tablets, sprays and creams over the next year while these commercial products remain legally out of reach.

Although Canada became the first G7 country on Wednesday to greenlight cannabis for recreational use, it limited purchases to dried or fresh cannabis and cannabis oil from government-licensed retailers.

Canadians can also make cannabis products, such as food and drinks, at home.

In the meantime, law enforcement is watching closely, with forces like the Ottawa police saying laws applicable to the sale and distribution of illegal products will be enforced and that officers are aware of retail outlets operating outside the law.

Organized Crime Reduction Minister Bill Blair says Ottawa knows consumers may seek out edibles and high-potency products on the black market but he says it is important to proceed carefully with regulation due to "significant complexities and risks."

NDP health critic Don Davies says the exclusion of such products amounts to a "glaring hole" in the legal marijuana market, noting these forms are favoured among consumers.



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