Quebec Approves Cannabis Law to Raise Legal Age to 21
Marijuana Industry News November 2, 2019 MJ Shareholders
The Coalition Avenir Quebec government has approved a law that raises the legal age to consume cannabis from 18 to 21, effective Jan. 1, 2020.
It will be the highest legal consumption age in Canada, according to a CBC report. Elsewhere, provinces have set the legal age at 19, except Alberta, which allows adults 18 and older to consume cannabis.
“We really want to protect our teenagers, which are most vulnerable to cannabis,” Lionel Carmant, Quebec’s junior health minister, told CBC.
The decision to raise the legal age is supported by the majority of Quebec residents, according to Carmant, but the change has received backlash from health professionals, industry groups and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, CBC reported.
The legislation was approved Oct. 29 at the National Assembly, where members of the Coalition Avenir Quebec all voted in favor, while all opposition parties voted against, CBC reported.
The law also bans the sale of cannabis candies and desserts, including chocolate, effective immediately, according to the news outlet. These categories of edible cannabis products were federally legalized Oct. 17 upon the launch of Canada’s “Cannabis 2.0,” and will hit store shelves in other provinces in mid-December.
In addition, the law increases restrictions on the public consumption of cannabis, although it does allow municipalities to establish their own rules, according to CBC.
The legislation also originally included a home grow ban, but a judge ruled in September that the ban was unconstitutional. Quebec has filed an appeal to challenge the court’s ruling, however.
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