On Thursday, another one of Canada’s provinces is expected to announce its plan for adult-use marijuana sales. This time it’s Quebec that will take center stage to reveal the future of pot in the country’s second-largest province.
Quebec’s Minister of Rehabilitation, Youth Protection, and Public Health, Lucie Charlebois, advised the legislature this morning to expect the plan tomorrow in the National Assembly.
Some of the juicier tidbits anticipated in Thursday’s announcement include the controversial decision to give total retail authority to the government-run liquor control board, the Société des Alcools du Québec (SAQ).
CBC News has reported the province intends to initially set up only 20 government-controlled retail outlets for a region of over 8 million people.
In order to handle the inevitable overflow of Quebecers looking for legal marijuana, the SAQ will also be in charge of all online sales. This structure would see the delivery of pot handled by Canada Post, which has had its share of criticism in the area of marijuana distribution.
Canada Post already delivers alcohol in Quebec through online orders, in addition to the SAQ handling brick and mortar retail in government-run locations. Further, various private retailers including supermarkets across the province are legally allowed to sell booze, but cannabis is being held to a harsher standard.
The legal age to buy marijuana in Quebec is expected to be 18-years-old, which is in-line with the drinking age for the province.
Perhaps the strictest prerequisite for legal cannabis in Quebec is the anticipated prohibition of growing any at home, despite the feds allowing up to four plants per household in Bill C-45.
Consumption rules for cannabis are expected to mimic tobacco, in that consumers will be required to use pot a certain distance from public buildings and bars. There are also reports that marijuana will not be allowed on University campuses.
Quebec is the latest province to reveal a framework for the upcoming legalization of cannabis in July 2018. Ontario and New Brunswick have already announced their plans, which also consist of tight government control. Manitoba has unveiled a hybrid option which sees the province handling the supply, with private retail managing sales. Alberta has not yet announced its retail plan, but the Gaming and Liquor Commission will be the central wholesaler of the product.