Cannabis legal October 17 across Canada
No ‘pot shops’ planned for Aylmer
Federal Bill C-45, legalizing the use of cannabis, comes into effect October 17, marking a significant change to social norms which had consigned this popular, and natural, drug to the black market.
As October 17 approaches, the entire city of Gatineau and the Outaouais have not a single legal outlet announced by the provincial regulator, La Société québécoise du cannabis, (SQDC). Local smokers will no doubt be attracted to Ottawa’s numerous retail outlets, thanks to Ontario’s open policy which might see the product available in multiple locations, limited only by their proximity to schools and restricted areas. The SQDC says outlets will be progressively announced – so far, 15 have been identified in all of Quebec with four to serve the Island of Montreal, headquarters of the SQDC, a autonomous branch of the SAQ. With online sales also permitted across the country, Quebec growers and distributors face major hurdles.
According to the legislation, all adults, 18 years and over, will be allowed to possess 30 grams in any legal public location. It is completely banned for anyone driving, or in locations where tobacco-smoking is prohibited.
Quebec has also banned any cultivation of the herb for private use, again, unlike Ontario which permits up to four plants. “Quebec’s rules mean the black market will continue in full force in Quebec,” one grower in the rural Outaouais told the Bulletin. “It is already a big source of income for a lot of people here. If the public can drive over the border and legally get a big selection of types and strengths, local sales will suffer.” (Transl.)