At midnight, Newfoundland Standard Time on Oct. 17 — 10:30 p.m. on Oct. 16 in Ottawa — recreational marijuana will be legal in Newfoundland and Labrador.
There probably won't be a public smoke-in, given the province's strict public consumption law, which will take effect at the same moment:
Restriction on the place of consumption
(1) A person shall not consume cannabis
(a) in a public place
Under Canadian law, when something takes effect on a date, it happens at midnight in each time zone rather than in a single moment across the country, the federal justice department confirmed. So while it was debated for many years, the actual process of legalization will take five and a half hours, as it moves slowly from coast to coast.
"We don’t yet know whether we will be selling non-medical cannabis as of the stroke of midnight on the 17th," says Newfoundland and Labrador liquor board spokesperson Greg Gill.
"We have broached that topic quite a bit in recent days."
"Because of where we are, and the time zone that we’re in, the opportunity is there, for us to be the first online and the first with retail."
Another decision that hasn't been made is when on the 17th the province's online sales will start. It may well turn out that Canada's first legal recreational cannabis purchase since 1923 will happen anonymously online, somewhere in Newfoundland or Labrador.