The legislation on cannabis

The Act respecting the Société des alcools du Québec

The information contained on this site does not replace the text of the law, which has an official status. In addition, it is not exhaustive.

The amendments made to the Act respecting the Société des alcools du Québec (chapter S-13) were to establish the model for the sale of cannabis for non-medical purposes in Québec.

Here are the principal measures:

  • Expand the mission of the Société des alcools du Québec (SAQ) in order for it to sell more than alcoholic beverages. The new mission consists in “ensuring the sale of cannabis in accordance with the Cannabis Regulation Act from a health protection perspective, in order to integrate consumers into, and maintain them in, the legal market, without encouraging cannabis consumption.” The SAQ may carry out this mission only through the Société québécoise du cannabis.
  • Constitute the Société québécoise du cannabis (SQDC), a subsidiary of the SAQ whose purpose is to carry out the mission of the SAQ as regards the sale of cannabis. To carry out its mission, the SQDC may, notably,
    • buy cannabis that meets the standards provided for in the Cannabis Regulation Act or its regulations from a producer who meets the requirements provided for in the Cannabis Regulation Act;
    • operate cannabis retail outlets;
    • sell cannabis over the Internet;
    • authorize a person to transport, deliver and store the cannabis the SQDC sells, on its behalf;
    • inform consumers about cannabis-related health risks, promote responsible consumption, raise awareness of the appropriate assistance resources and direct persons to those resources.
  • Require that the SQDC board of directors include members who collectively have significant expertise or experience in public health, education, substance abuse and youth intervention.
  • Confer the responsibility on the Minister of Health and Social Services, the Minister of Public Security, the Minister of Finance, and the Minister of Municipal Affairs, Regions and Land Occupancy of each designating an observer to the SQDC Board, who will participate in board meetings.
  • Establish the Cannabis Sales Revenue Fund, under the responsibility of the Minister of Finance.
    • The Fund will receive, in particular, the following revenues associated with cannabis sales in Québec:
      • the dividends of the SQDC;
      • the sharing of the federal excise duty;
      • any other contribution made to help achieve the purposes of the Fund.
    • The majority of the Fund’s revenues will be paid into the Cannabis Prevention and Research Fund established at the Ministère de la Santé et des Services sociaux.
  • Integrate the power of the Minister of Finance, with the approval of the government and after consulting with the Minister of Health and Social Services, to issue directives to the SQDC.
  • Grant certain regulatory powers to the government in relation to SQDC activities, to direct, if required and in a specific manner, the practices of the SQDC as regards:
    • standards for the purchase and sale of cannabis;
    • conditions that a person must meet to be authorized by the SQDC to transport or store cannabis, in particular those related to security clearances.

Last update: March 11, 2020 1:09 PM