Quebec is rolling out new rules where cannabis is concerned, ruffling the feathers of many people in the province’s younger crowd.
On January 1st, the legal age to buy or possess cannabis products in Quebec changed from 18 to 21, the highest minimum age for use in all of Canada!
Everywhere else in the country, the legal age is 19, except for in Alberta, where it’s 18.
The Quebec government voted on the change in November amid worries of the potential impact cannabis can have on developing brains.
So if you live in Quebec, you can drink and gamble at age 18, but cannabis products are off-limits until you’re 21.
Will It Work?
Many policy experts don’t think so.
McGill University’s Daniel Weinstock tells Global News there is evidence that the drug can negatively affect young minds.
But cannabis is still widely available on the black market, and he thinks prohibition will have many people in the 18-21 age range buying unregulated and potentially dangerous products.
If they want to access it, they will.
Weinstock believes giving younger people access to a safe products at licensed distributors is better than an all-out ban.
In a bid to stock up before the change, many teens rushed into the SQDC in late December to buy what they could legally.
Some young tourists from out of province told the Montreal Gazette the stricter rules would deter them from revisiting Quebec.
The Edibles Market
Quebec isn’t messing around with pot.
It has set the home-storage limit at 150 grams, the lowest of any other province. Most other places in Canada don’t even have limits.
And the edibles market is feeling the same kind of restrictions.
Cannabis products that might be appealing to people under 21, such as chocolates, sweets, candies, and desserts have been banned from store shelves in the province.
CBC News reports that while edibles were available for purchase elsewhere in Canada at the end of 2019, the rollout in Quebec has been delayed so producers can be sure they’re conforming to all of the rules.
The first products available to Quebecers will be cannabis-infused beverages, including sparkling water, tea, and non-alcoholic beer.
Muffins and granola bars will also eventually be available.
So while Quebec has traditionally been viewed as a place with a certain ‘joie de vivre’ and laid-back spirit, the same mentality isn’t translating in the world of cannabis, even if it is legal across Canada.