December 21, 2018 1:58 pm

Canadians spent $43M on cannabis in first two weeks after legalization: StatCan

WATCH: Canada unveils proposed rules for edible cannabis

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OTTAWA — Statistics Canada says sales at cannabis stores in the two weeks after legalization totalled $43 million.

The agency started collecting data for in-store and online sales from cannabis retailers as of Oct. 17, when fresh or dried bud, oil, plants and seeds became legal for recreational use in the country.

READ MORE: Cannabis edibles would be capped at low doses under proposed federal rules

The first set of data released Friday as part of the agency’s broader monthly retail trade figures only encompassed two weeks, but will reflect a complete reference month in the future.

Statistics Canada says different retail structures in each province and territory affected cannabis availability across the country.

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The agency says retail figures will vary as new stores continue to come on line and the marketplace evolves.

Recreational pot supply shortages have been a persistent problem since legalization with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau recently calling the supply shortfall the biggest challenge associated with the change. He noted, however, that he expects the problem to disappear within a year.

READ MORE: How one simple change let a province sell residents live pot plants

Edibles have yet to be allowed to be legally sold,but Health Canada released draft regulations Thursday for the sale of edibles. They will become legal no later than Oct. 17, 2019.

The regulations, which ask for public input until Feb. 20, would restrict the sale of cannabis-infused booze, and packaging or labelling beer or wine products together with cannabis.

READ MORE: Cannabis legalization named top Canadian business news story of 2018

Packages of edibles won’t be permitted more than 10 milligrams of THC, while extracts and topicals could not exceed 1,000 milligrams of THC.

The regulations propose restrictions on ingredients that could make the products more appeal to children, as well as requiring plain and child-resistant packaging that displays a standard cannabis symbol with a health warning.

© 2018 The Canadian Press

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