Canada has taken the step to legalise the recreational use and possession of cannabis after months of preparation across the country's provinces and municipalities, the BBC reported. The first instance of recreational cannabis being bought legally in Canada occurred at midnight on Wednesday as hundreds queued in Newfoundland, which is 30 minutes ahead of the next province to the west's timezone, to mark the occasion.

How the newly legalised industry will work

Whilst medical marijuana has been legal in Canada since 2001, recreational use of the drug has been the focus of much-contested campaign and debate in the intervening years.

Approximately 15 million households across the country have been sent leaflets, informing them of the new legislation, as well as educational and awareness campaigns about the drug being stepped-up in every province.

Each province will be responsible for dictating where Cannabis can be legally bought and sold in their respective areas, a responsibility they have been busy preparing to undertake for months. Therefore, exact legislation differs slightly across Canada, with some provinces choosing slightly more restrictive regulations than others.

In legalising marijuana, Canada is following in the footsteps of Uruguay which was the first nation to ever legalise the recreational use, possession and selling of Cannabis.

Problems are expected in the drug's first legal year

The industry of legal marijuana is evidently still very much in its infancy, therefore difficulty is expected as the market will fight to keep up with demand.

In Ontario, for example, the first store to sell the drug will only open next Spring, so consumers will have to buy their cannabis online before then. Experts have stated that there will not be enough physical stores in the majority of Canadian provinces to meet the demand of consumers so, for now, the online marketplace will boom.

This has raised some concerns about whether unlicensed retailers will plug the gaps in the market and sell large quantities of their unregulated supply of marijuana. Whilst this would obviously be unsafe, it would also pose a problem for police forces in the country as it is unclear whether they would be expected to take a hard line on these retailers immediately or not.

There are also some fears about how Canadian police will cope with the issue of unsafe driving being caused by a high uptake in the drug.