Marijuana Laws and Policies in Quebec, Canada 2020
With cannabis use for medical and recreational purposes seemingly legal in the whole nation of Canada, it is hard to imagine Quebec, the country’s largest province in terms of landmass, as a place that isn’t crawling with cannabis goodies and surprises! However, that is not exactly the case.
While residents of the province are allowed to legally make use of marijuana, the place is generally known as one of the more stringent and limiting places in terms of cannabis in Canada.
Of course, it is still entirely possible for people situated in Quebec to access weed in their areas. From having fully operating marijuana dispensaries to different smoking spots available, Quebec is still a great place to be at for smokers and stoners! Additionally, many commercial growers thrive in Quebec due to the rather ideal growing climates found in its seasons.
Now, what are the different rules and regulations that govern marijuana use and consumption in La belle province? Let’s check ‘em out!
History of Cannabis in Quebec, Canada
Cannabis in Quebec was made legal in line with the rest of the country. At first, marijuana use and production across Canada was made illegal and classified as a dangerous substance in the year 1923. Because of the negative and adverse effects that it had on the citizens of the country, Canada decided to jump onto the worldwide trend of prohibiting the use of such.
The first changes in the country were made in the year 2001. It was during this year that the Marijuana for Medical Purposes Regulations bill was passed into law.
This gave people in Canada, including those in Quebec, full freedom to make use of prescribed doses of medical marijuana for treating their health conditions. Later on, on October 17th, 2018, the Cannabis Act was recognized by the whole nation.
This effectively made marijuana for adult and recreational use legal under federal laws.
As soon as the Cannabis Act (Bill C-45) came into effect around the country, the local government of Quebec wasted no time in establishing its own set of rules for a stricter and more controlled cannabis scene in their province.
This came in the form of the Société québécoise du cannabis (SQDC). This law was established by the Cannabis Regulation Act, which was also called the Bill 157. Among other things, it highlighted the different limits and policies for recreational marijuana use, possession, cultivation, and distribution.
The Cannabis Act or C-45’s Impact in Quebec:
In truth, cannabis consumption in Quebec is heavily regulated and subject to numerous limits and restrictions. While people can still get their hands on weed, it will not be as easy as in other provinces of Canada.
As many of you know, cannabis consumption in Canada during the 2010s was quite common despite no full legalization taking place yet. In this timeframe, Quebec actually ranked as a province with one of the lowest cannabis consumption rates per capita as well as one of the lowest reports of cannabis use in the past years.
In many local municipalities of Quebec, they have actually established a complete ban on the public consumption of marijuana. This means that only private residences may act as the consumption areas for recreational use of weed. Perhaps the most forgiving place in Quebec towards marijuana is the city of Montreal.
Cannabis Regulation Body/Policies
The local and federal policies that govern marijuana use for recreational purposes is mainly overseen by Quebec’s very own local government.
The rules and regulations that are established in the federal Cannabis Act as well as in the Cannabis Regulations Act aim to preserve the ongoing regulation and maintenance of a province free from dangerous risks of cannabis abuse.
Legal Age, Purchasing, and Possession of Cannabis
Despite the more restrictive attention placed on cannabis use and consumption in Quebec, the legal age isn’t exactly what you think it is! Consistent with the national government’s minimum age limit for alcohol consumption, residents of the province are actually allowed to purchase, possess, and cultivate marijuana as long as they are 18 years old. This is different from the age limit set by most countries at 19 years old.
Purchasing locations and possession limits:
The retail stores and cannabis dispensaries in Quebec are governed by the SQDC. All registration and authorization for legal distributors must go through the SQDC before being allowed to operate.
Residents who meet the legal age requirement for cannabis use in Quebec have the option of purchasing their marijuana supplies from either physical dispensaries in the area or through the online websites administered by the SQDC.
The maximum amount of marijuana that people in the province are allowed to purchase in a given transaction is 30 grams. Additionally, people who are 18 years old and above are legally allowed to carry 30 grams of cannabis products in public areas. These limits are consistent with the policies enumerated in the federal law.
Consumption and Cultivation of Cannabis
As one of the more restrictive provinces in Canada with regards to cannabis consumption, using all forms of marijuana is limited to private residences and areas where tobacco smoking and vaping is also allowed. There are currently no social establishments that cater to on-site marijuana use.
Additionally, Quebec’s local laws have also strengthened the limitations and raised the penalties for those who are caught Driving Under the Influence (DUI) of cannabis. There is currently a “zero-tolerance law” for anyone who is caught operating any motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol and/or marijuana.
Marijuana use in other public and enclosed spaces is strictly prohibited in Quebec. These places include public gyms, enclosed areas with crowded volumes of people, schools, churches, hospitals, and the like. Additionally, landlords and company management also have the right to ban the use of marijuana in their owned properties or in working vicinities, respectively.
Initially, cannabis cultivation for any purpose was strictly prohibited by local laws unless you are permitted by the government to do so (such as marijuana supply distributors). However, with the limitation being deemed illicit and wrongful, this restriction was later overturned on September 3rd, 2019.
Today, residents of Quebec are now permitted to grow up to four (4) cannabis plants in their respective households, notwithstanding the number of adults situated therein. These plants must be kept away and enclosed in a private area at all times.