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Cannabis store sales total $43M in first two weeks after legalization

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.
 
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.
 
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.
 
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.
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