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Weed 7 things to know about cannabis use in Quebec

Recreational cannabis was legalized in Canada in 2018. This legalization is accompanied by a set of rules that govern the possession and consumption of cannabis. Here are some basic rules you should know.

1. Cannabis must be purchased at the SQDC

Only the Société québécoise du cannabis (SQDC) has the right to sell cannabis in Quebec. This means that it is illegal to buy your cannabis from a friend or from a website other than the SQDC. If you buy your cannabis somewhere other than the SQDC, you could be charged with a crime.

The rules for medical cannabis are different. You can visit the Health Canada website to know more.

Several categories of cannabis are sold by the SQDC: dried cannabis, pre-rolls, extracts, beverages and edibles. There are restrictions on how they can be produced and traded. For example, the packaging of all cannabis products must be plain.

An edible cannabis product offered in Quebec cannot be a candy, confectionery, or any other product that appeals to people under the age of 21.

2. Sharing cannabis with anyone under 21 is prohibited

Be careful if you decide to share cannabis with other people. In Quebec, it is illegal to share cannabis with people under the age of 21 or to buy cannabis from them.

3. You can’t use cannabis in public

You cannot consume (smoke, vape, etc.) cannabis in a public place in Quebec. The list of public places includes:

  • public roads (sidewalks, alleys, streets, highways, footpaths, etc.)
  • bus shelters
  • patios or other outdoor commercial spaces
  • outdoor public places, including parks and playgrounds, sports grounds, day camps and vacation camps

Municipalities can, however, pass by-laws to allow cannabis smoking in certain areas of municipal parks.

You cannot smoke on a bicycle or in a car, even if it is parked and even if you are the passenger.

4. You may be banned from using cannabis in your home

If you are a tenant, your landlord can stipulate in your lease that it is forbidden to consume cannabis in your dwelling. Your landlord can also modify your lease to add this prohibition. If the lease is for 12 months, then the landlord must send you a notice 3 to 6 months before the renewal of your lease. If you want to dispute the owner change, see the Administrative Housing Tribunal website.

If you use medical cannabis, be aware that special rules apply. Consult the Health Canada website to get more information.

If you are an owner, you can consume cannabis in your home, whether inside your residence or on your property. However, there are restrictions. For example, if you have a daycare center in your house, you cannot use cannabis at times when you have children.

If you live in a condo, the condominium association may prohibit you from using cannabis in common areas. The condominium association can also prohibit the consumption of cannabis in your part of the condo, if this consumption disturbs other residents.

5. The amount of cannabis you can possess varies depending on where you are

In public

In public, the possession limit is 30 grams of dried cannabis. The limit for other forms of cannabis is the equivalent of 30 grams of dried cannabis.

Fresh Cannabis 150g
Cannabis liquids 2100g
Cannabis in concentrate form 7.5g

There are certain places where you cannot possess cannabis in public, for example:

  • schools
  • the universities
  • daycare centers

Your house

Whether you are allowed to smoke there or not, you can have up to 150g of dried cannabis, or its equivalent, in your home (see table above). But beware! The 150g limit is calculated per residence, regardless of the number of people living there. This means that if you live with other people, you must share the 150 gram limit.

6. In Quebec, you cannot grow cannabis at home

In some provinces you are allowed to grow up to 4 cannabis plants in your home. However, in Quebec, it is forbidden to grow cannabis at home. You could be fined.

7. You can’t drive after using cannabis

Driving while impaired is a crime. If you have more than a certain amount of THC (the psychoactive component in cannabis) in your system while driving, you can be charged with a crime. The severity of the crime depends on the amount of THC in your blood. For more information, see our article on impaired driving.

In Quebec, a “zero tolerance” policy will be implemented. With this policy, it will be prohibited to drive after consuming cannabis, regardless of the amount consumed. As soon as the police detect cannabis in your blood, you will face a fine, demerit points and the immediate suspension of your driver’s license for 90 days.

This zero-tolerance policy is not yet in effect at this time, but will be eventually. Stay tuned!

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