Pot Nation: Canadian provinces' legal cannabis store regulations

TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada became the first Group of Seven nation to legalize recreational cannabis on Wednesday. The federal government left many of the details of regulating sales up to provinces, which are taking different paths.

A man walks past a sign outside the Natural Vibe store after legal recreational marijuana went on sale in St John's, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada October 17, 2018. REUTERS/Chris Wattie

Here are the frameworks across Canada’s biggest provinces, and the number of stores open on the first day of legalization:

*British Columbia: hybrid model where both government-run and private retailers will sell cannabis; no limit announced on number of retail licenses, but 173 applications received; one store in Kamloops, 350 kilometers (217.48 miles) from Vancouver, opened on Oct. 17; online sales through

*Ontario: Canada’s most populous province will have privately owned stores beginning on April 1, 2019; until then online sales through; No cap on number of stores but cannabis producers will only be allowed one store.

*Quebec: up to 20 government stores initially; expected to rise depending on demand; nine stores open across the province on Oct. 17, three more to open later in October; online sales through

*Nova Scotia: 12 existing government-run liquor stores will now also sell marijuana; online sales through

*New Brunswick: 20 government-controlled retail stores, all open on Oct. 17; online sales through

*Prince Edward Island: four government-controlled retail stores announced, three open on Oct. 17; online sales at

*Manitoba: four private retail licenses were granted to companies that can each operate multiple stores; they are a consortium of Delta 9 Cannabis and Canopy Growth Corp, National Access Cannabis, Tokyo Smoke (which has since been acquired by Canopy) and a corporation including Avana Canada and some First Nations groups; these groups will have five stores open on Wednesday, according to local media; online sales through these retailers.

*Alberta: 250 private retail licenses; those who currently own illegal stores not allowed to apply; 17 stores open on Oct. 17; online sales through

*Saskatchewan: 51 private store licenses issued; about one-third reportedly will open on Oct. 17; past criminal activity will not necessarily exclude applicants; store operators can also sell online.

*Newfoundland & Labrador: 41 licenses for private stores, some could be within an existing retail space; grocery chain Loblaws is among companies that have received licenses and selling cannabis in 10 existing tobacco stores; 22 stores open on Oct. 17; online sales at


*Northwest Territories: initially sold through liquor stores, cannabis-only stores to be opened at a later date.

*Yukon Territory: initially one government store, followed by private retail licensing; no details on number.

*Nunavut: no physical locations in 2018, may allow private stores from 2019; no details on number.

NOTE: Canadian provinces receive their power and authority from the federal constitution, while territorial governments have powers delegated to them by the Canadian Parliament.

Reporting by Nichola Saminather; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe