Quebec Resumes Hearings for Two Days on its Marijuana Bill

Legalizing weed was part of the Canadian Liberals' election platform. Via CBC

Quebec on Tuesday has resumed its consultation hearings on its marijuana bill as the country readies for a nationwide legalization of cannabis in July. 

Once the marijuana bill’s hearings are over, Quebec will present its findings in a report to the National Assembly, and then the bill will enter the final clause-by-clause adoption process, the Montreal Gazette reported.

The Montreal Gazette said about 20 groups will be appearing in the next two days to participate in this process to pave the way for the province to adopt Bill 157.

Each Canadian province will have its own set of rules overseeing its marijuana regulation. Bill 157 will establish Quebec’s cannabis consumption and distribution rules.

Also, each municipality in the province as the case elsewhere in Canada will decide how these rules will eventually be applied locally.

Lucie Charlebois, the minister responsible for the bill, did not explicitly say what she will take from the dozens of proposals to improve or amend the bill. But a key clause will create the Sociéte du cannabis or SQC, which will handle sales of marijuana. 

Cannabis Rules Like Tobacco Use?

The lack of a uniform application in each municipality is making people feel confused.

For instance, the bill allows people in Quebec to smoke marijuana anywhere they are permitted to smoke cigarettes, but it is up to municipalities to use their discretionary power.

Mayor Valérie Plante said last week that Montreal wants marijuana-smoking banned in public spaces where tobacco use is already forbidden, for example near or at playgrounds.

Montreal also wants Quebec to give it the power to prohibit marijuana consumption in other places during special events.

Plante said:

“We want to follow the same rules and bylaws as the ones connected to tobacco use in public spaces” 

Meanwhile, Quebec’s government is planning to adopt the bill before the end of June to be fully ready for the nationwide legalization.  

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