Quebec’s Liquor Control Board to control cannabis salesQuebec has announced the legal age to buy cannabis will be 18. Cannabis is due for legalisation in 2018, and this minimum age mirrors Quebec’s legal drinking age. The Liquor Control Board will control sales through government-controlled outlets and its website. The Société des alcools d u Québec (SAQ) has yet to determine the number of retail outlets. But, according to Quebec’s Public Health Minister, Lucie Charlebois, new legislation is due for tabling soon. Quebec’s Public Security Minister, Martin Coiteux, said the priority was to protect young people. The primary concern is to keep them from accessing the black market. He said that while cannabis legalisation was not their first choice, they had to make it work. The government now had to build the framework for a new system. Quebec is the third province to announce how it will make the Federal government legislation work next year. Recreational cannabis will be legal from July 2018. Many Canadian provinces are still working on plans to make legal cannabis work in their area. Others to announce plans as Ontario and New Brunswick. Ontario announced its Liquor Control Board will supply cannabis through government stores. New Brunswick will also supply cannabis through government-controlled outlets. But, Canopy Growth and OrganiGram will provide all products for the first two years.
Cannabis available onlinePart of a new Bill planned for legislation in Quebec is managing cannabis sales through the SAQ website. The online service will provide cannabis access to people who cannot get to a store. SAQ only intends to set-up 20 storefronts across the province to sell cannabis from on site at the start. So, buying cannabis is easy. People will order and pay for their cannabis online, and Canada Post will deliver. Customers will need to prove they are of legal age and prove their online cannabis purchase. Delivering cannabis is nothing new for Canada Post. It has been delivering medical cannabis since 2003, and alcohol, ordered through the SAQ website. Online cannabis sales appear to be a trend in other provinces.
New Brunswick still working on cannabis accessThe New Brunswick government intends to set-up a network of cannabis stores across the province. Controlled by the New Brunswick Liquor Department it will establish up to 20 shopfronts. with products displayed under glass. They will have strict policies in place and stores must be at least 300 metres from schools. Cannabis will not be self-serve, but kept under glass. Trained staff will assist customers. You will have to prove you are of legal age to enter the stores. New Brunswick Finance Minister, Cathy Rogers said they received advice to control cannabis sales. She said this was important when it first becomes legal. They want to make sure cannabis does not fall into the wrong hands or end up on the black market. Cannabis shops will be set-up in at least 15 different communities. They storefronts will have no advertising, window displays or anything that identifies it as a pot shop. Inside customers can talk to trained, knowledgeable staff giving personal advice. While online sales in New Brunswick are likely, the details are still in the planning stages. But, one option could be ‘click and collect’ online. This is where you order and pay online, and pick up from a shopfront. Another option under consideration is home delivery. Trained staff will deliver cannabis to your front door. You will have to provide who you are on delivery.
Pot shops for OntarioThe Ontario government plans to open 150 stand-alone pot shops by July 2020, with an online ordering service in place from July 2018. With plans to only open eight stand-alone pot shops by July 1, 2019, recreational cannabis will be available online. Ontario’s Liquor Control Board will manage the pot shops and online ordering system. This means you cannot buy alcohol and cannabis from the same retail space. Just because cannabis becomes legal, it does not mean you can smoke a joint walking down the street or in a local cafe. Recreational cannabis will remain prohibited while driving, at work and in public places. It is only legal to use at home. You will have to be 19 or over to access cannabis in Ontario, and the police will have the power to confiscate pot from anyone underage. There is still much work for Canadian provinces to be ready for the July 2018 deadline. Canadians will soon rejoice in the legalisation of recreational cannabis across the country.
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