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Cannabis in Canada: Who wins and who loses under new law

Canada is about to become the second nation to fully legalise recreational cannabis. When prohibition comes to an end on 17 October, Canadian adults will be able to purchase and consume the drug from federally licensed producers. 

The country has one of the highest rates of cannabis use in the world, particularly among young people. 

Canadians spent an estimated C$5.7bn ($4.6bn; £3.5bn) in 2017 alone on combined medical and recreational use - about $1,200 per user. The bulk of that spending was on black market marijuana. 

Uruguay was the first country to legalise recreational marijuana, although Portugal and the Netherlands have decriminalised the drug.

Here's a look at some of the consequences of this sweeping transition in Canada - and the potential winners and losers. 

Expect plenty of cannabis-related cases in the courts in the coming years. 

"While we're moving away from a regime of prohibition, we're at the same time moving towards a very detailed framework of regulation," says Bill Bogart, a Toronto-based legal expert on drugs and legalisation. 

And that means lots of regulatory details and grey areas for interest groups to challenge or exploit. 

One key issue will be how officers assess drug-impaired drivers compared to drink-drivers. And the reliability of technology used to detect THC, the psychoactive compound in cannabis, is already being challenged.

Some police forces have also opted out a roadside saliva testing device authorised by the federal government over cost concerns and the fact it might have problems working in colder weather.  

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