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A year after pot legalization in Canada, it's a slow roll

FILE -- File photo: In this Wednesday, Oct. 9, 2019 photo, a customer sniffs a display sample of marijuana, in a tamper-proof container secured with a cable, sold at Evergreen Cannabis, a marijuana retail shop, in Vancouver, B.C. One year into Canada’s experiment in legal marijuana, hundreds of legal pot shops have sprung up. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

VANCOUVER — It’s one year into Canada’s experiment in legal marijuana. Many residents remain proud of Canada for bucking prohibition, but a lot still buy cannabis on the sly. Access is limited and taxes and other issues mean high-quality bud can cost nearly twice what it did before legalization.

First-year legal sales are expected to be about $1 billion, a fraction of the estimated total market. Kinks abound, from what many consider wasteful packaging requirements and uneven quality to the slow pace of licensing stores and growers across most of the country.

But officials promised legalization would be a process, not an event. They expect to work out the issues as the market matures.

Gene Johnson, Elaine Thompson And Rob Gillies, The Associated Press