Quebec’s legislation to introduce recreational cannabis to the province is the snappily named Bill 157, An Act to constitute the Société québécoise du cannabis, to enact the Cannabis Regulation Act and to amend various highway safety-related provisions (Bill). Published in November 2017, the main features of the Act are:
- Cannabis in Quebec will be sold by the Société québécoise du cannabis (SQC), a subsidiary of the Société des alcools du Québec. The SQC will have a monopoly on retail and online sales within Quebec;
- Online sales will be delivered by Canada Post;
- The minimum age to purchase, possess and use cannabis in Quebec is 18;
- The maximum amount of dried cannabis that can be purchased at any one time is 30 grams (which is just over one ounce);
- Any adult can have a maximum of 150 grams of dried cannabis;
- Cannabis cannot be grown for personal use (even though the federal law allows for adults to grow up to four plants each);
- Cannabis cannot be consumed on the property of health or social service institutions, on university and CEGEP campuses, in outdoor areas tused by minors and within enclosed public spaces.
The Quebec government has said they plan to have 15 retail outlets selling cannabis in July 2018 when it becomes legal for recreational use and 150 retail outlets within two years of legalisation.
Marketing of cannabis is massively restricted, similar to the Ontario cannabis market. Put simply, you can’t advertise cannabis using any testimonials or endorsements by anyone living (or a cartoon character, so no use of the Freak Brothers), use any graphics, use any slogans or associate with any sporting or cultural organisation. Basically the only way you can market cannabis in Quebec is either inside the cannabis retailer (and you have to make sure that cannot be seen from the outside) or in a magazine or newspaper where at least 85% of the readership are adults and where at least 90% of the advertisement is text based and the remaining 10% is permitted to show a picture of your cannabis product.