Cannabis law in Quebec, Canada, the laws regarding cannabis possession, consumption, and distribution are governed by both federal and provincial legislation. The federal Cannabis Act, which came into effect on October 17, 2018, sets out the overarching regulations for cannabis across the country. However, provinces and territories have the authority to establish their own specific rules within certain limits.
Cannabis law in Quebec, the legal age for purchasing, possessing, and consuming cannabis is set at 21 years old. This is higher than the legal age in other provinces, which is typically 19. The province justifies this higher age limit by citing concerns about the impact of cannabis on brain development in young adults.
The Société québécoise du cannabis (SQDC) is the sole legal retailer of cannabis in Quebec. It operates both physical stores and an online platform where consumers can purchase cannabis products. Private retailers are not allowed to sell cannabis in Quebec. The SQDC ensures that cannabis products sold are regulated, tested for quality and potency, and labeled appropriately.
In terms of possession limits, individuals in Quebec can possess up to 30 grams of dried cannabis or its equivalent in public spaces. This possession limit is consistent with the federal regulations. However, Quebec has implemented stricter rules regarding the cultivation of cannabis for personal use. In Quebec, it is illegal to cultivate any amount of cannabis at home, even for personal use. This is in contrast to other provinces where cultivation for personal use is allowed, typically with a maximum plant limit.
Regarding consumption, Quebec has established strict regulations to control where cannabis can be used. It is illegal to consume cannabis in public places, including parks, streets, and outdoor areas. Consumption is restricted to private residences, certain designated areas within long-term care facilities, and certain outdoor areas specifically authorized for cannabis consumption. These authorized outdoor areas are limited and subject to municipal regulations.
Quebec also prohibits smoking or vaping cannabis in any enclosed area where smoking is already prohibited, such as workplaces, bars, restaurants, and indoor public spaces. This includes the prohibition of cannabis smoking or vaping on the grounds of post-secondary institutions and within nine meters of their perimeter.
In terms of impaired driving, it is illegal to drive under the influence of cannabis in Quebec, as it is across Canada. The province has set legal limits for THC (the psychoactive component of cannabis) in the bloodstream while driving. If a person is found to be operating a vehicle with a THC level exceeding the legal limit, they can face penalties such as fines, license suspension, and possible criminal charges.
It is worth noting that the laws and regulations regarding cannabis in Quebec may be subject to change and it is important to stay informed about the latest updates from both federal and provincial authorities.
Overall, Quebec has implemented specific regulations and restrictions related to the possession, cultivation, consumption, and distribution of cannabis to ensure public safety and health while adhering to federal guidelines.