O Cannabis! What Happens When Pot’s Legal Next Door?

By Jennifer Brooks
Star Tribune (Minneapolis)

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) Thirty states, including Minnesota, have legalized medical marijuana. Ten states, including the entire western seaboard, have legalized completely: Alaska, California, Colorado, Maine, Massachusetts, Nevada, Oregon, Vermont, Washington and Washington, D.C.

Star Tribune (Minneapolis)

The neighbors are getting into the cannabis business.

Canada’s legalizing recreational marijuana in October. In November, North Dakota voters will decide whether to follow suit.

That’s two more borders than Minnesota law enforcement would like to share with pot-legal states or nations.
But up and down those borders, Minnesotans are watching the pot preparations with only mild interest.

“We have not had a discourse here at a city level,” about the Oct. 17 launch of legalization in Canada, said Ken Anderson, city administrator for International Falls, Minn. — a city as close to Canada as it’s possible to get without setting foot in Ontario.

Canadian cannabis stocks are skyrocketing, local governments are scrambling to figure out the new pot economy and entrepreneurs are setting up shop.

In Ontario, Thunder Bay’s first retail cannabis store will open along the harbor expressway between an A & W and a hair salon. Posters displaying the “Can and Can’t of Cannabis” are going up around Winnipeg, Manitoba, spelling out the new rules: You must be at least 19 to buy cannabis legally, you can buy only from a retailer licensed by the province and no you may not smoke or vape in public.

Cannabis tourism is growing into a multimillion dollar business in some of the 10 states where it’s legal — flouting federal laws that still treat marijuana as a dangerous, illicit substance. Colorado, which legalized the trade in 2014, estimated that 12 million visitors partook of a “marijuana-related activity” during the 2016 tourism season.

Maybe International Falls will see a tourism bump of its own from travelers heading north, but Anderson’s not worried about those tourists trying to bring back souvenirs.

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