The Controlled Drugs and Substances Act is federal legislation that is enforced jointly with the provinces and territories. The choice to legalize cannabis was made by the federal government.
On April 13, 2017, the federal government introduced a bill to legalize the recreational use of cannabis and announced it would become law by July 1, 2018, at the latest. Under this bill, the federal government will be responsible for regulating production and establishing health and safety standards and criminal prohibitions. The Government of Québec is responsible for regulating the distribution and sale of cannabis and enforcing those regulations. The proposed regulations aim to reduce the risks and negative impacts on health and safety, and to reduce systemic cannabis-related crime.
To develop the regulations, the Government of Québec consulted experts, citizens, and organizations during the summer of 2017. Following the consultations a bill on the regulation of cannabis in Québec will be tabled this fall.
Forum of Experts on the Regulation of Cannabis in Québec
The Forum of Experts on the Regulation of Cannabis in Québec took place on June 19 and 20, 2017, at Palais des congrès in Montreal. The forum brought together over 200 participants and its objectives were:
- To hear from experts and allow participants from various spheres to discuss practical issues regarding the regulation of cannabis
- To prepare for the public consultations planned for late summer 2017
To learn more about the experts’ findings, see Les actes du Forum d’experts sur l’encadrement du cannabis au Québec (in French only).
Public consultations on the regulation of cannabis in Québec
From August 21 to September 12, 2017, the Government of Québec heard from the public during public consultations on the regulation of cannabis. The consultations were an opportunity for citizens and organizations to voice their concerns about topics related to the legalization of cannabis. Quebecers had the opportunity to share their opinions online and in person about:
- Prevention, awareness, and health effects
- Marijuana marketing and use sites
During the public consultations:
- The following seven cities were visited by Lucie Charlebois, Minister of Rehabilitation, Youth Protection, Public Health and Healthy Living:
- Québec City
- 105 organizations were heard by the minister during the regional consultations
- 276 citizens participated in roundtables at the regional consultations
- 207 briefs and submissions were submitted online by citizens and organizations
- 12,594 people participated in the online consultations
The high rate of participation in the public consultations on the regulation of cannabis reflects public interest in the issue. Many individuals expressed their concerns regarding the impending legalization, proposed ways of limiting the impact on public health and safety, and made suggestions about how to regulate cannabis.
The Rapport des consultations publiques sur l'encadrement du cannabis au Québec (in French only) reports on the feedback from the individuals and organizations that participated in the regional and Web consultations on the legal framework that will govern marijuana in Québec. The consultations took place from August 21 to September 12, 2017.
Bill on the regulation of cannabis
The Projet de loi constituant la Société québécoise du cannabis, édictant la Loi encadrant le cannabis et modifiant diverses dispositions en matière de sécurité routière (in French only) was tabled in the National Assembly on November 16, 2017.
Last update: November 16, 2017 10:20 AM