Quebec tables cannabis legislation; provincial body to control industry

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Quebec tables marijuana bill
WATCH: Starting next summer, cannabis could be controlled and sold through a subsidiary of the SAQ. As Global's Raquel Fletcher reports, if the bill is passed without amendment, Quebecers will no longer be allowed to grow their own marijuana plants – Nov 16, 2017

The Quebec government has tabled its cannabis legislation and is setting up a provincially run corporation to oversee the industry.

READ MORE: Quebec Liberals still undecided on marijuana legislation

Public Health Minister Lucie Charlebois says the body that will oversee the pot industry will be a subsidiary of the provincially owned liquor corporation.

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Charlebois told the legislature Thursday the bill forbids minors from possessing cannabis, prohibits people from growing it for personal use and and stipulates that smoking it will be banned in the same places where smoking tobacco is illegal.

“To make sure that we protect the health and security of the population that’s the main thing that we intend to do,” she said.

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WATCH BELOW: Legalizing marijuana

Only the newly created agency will be allowed to buy cannabis from a producer, transport it, store it and sell it, although there may be certain exceptions. Quebecers will not be allowed to grow marijuana plants at home, even though the federal bill permits it.

“It would constitute a nightmare to enforcement. One, plant, two plants, how big, how small?” said Finance Minister Carlos Leitao.

READ MORE: Marijuana will be legal, but for many activists the fight isn’t over

Ottawa has promised marijuana will be legal across Canada by next July 1 and has left it to the provinces to create their own legal framework on how the law would be enforced on their territory.

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READ MORE: Quebec medical marijuana producer certified ‘kosher’

Quebec tabled its legislation a day after it again asked the federal government to push back the July 1 deadline by one year so the province can reach agreement with Ottawa on various money-related issues such as the division of tax revenues.

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