Montrealers can buy recreational marijuana at 8 different illegal storefronts starting Thursday

A Canadian chain of recreational marijuana stores is set to open eight illegal shops Thursday on the island of Montreal.

Cannabis Culture unveils full list of Montreal locations less than 24 hours before opening

This spring, the federal government is expected to table legislation that would legalize marijuana. (David McNew/Reuters)

Update April 2, 2019: The addresses listed in this article are no longer operating as Cannabis Culture locations.

A Canadian chain of recreational marijuana stores is set to open eight illegal shops Thursday on the island of Montreal.

Cannabis Culture, which is co-owned by activists Jodie and Marc Emery, already has stores in British Columbia and Ontario.

The chain plans to open a total of 10 shops in Montreal by the end of the month, and eight of them are opening on Thursday. The remaining two locations have yet to be disclosed and are expected to open by the end of the month.

Up until now, the Montreal locations have been kept under wraps, although CBC-Radio-Canada obtained the addresses of two shops earlier this week.

Here's the full list of locations: 

  • 1863 Amherst St.

  • 1412 Pie-IX Blvd.

  • 8870 St-Michel Blvd.

  • 7130 St-Laurent Blvd.

  • 2200 Mount Royal Ave. E. 

  • 3804 Saint Laurent Blvd.

  • 1431B Bishop St.

  • 4961 Queen Mary Rd.

Current federal law does not allow for the recreational sale of marijuana in Canada, although the government is expected to table new legislation in the spring.

"Legalization is only happening because of activists like Marc Emery and Cannabis Culture have been protesting and running for office and educating for decades and also be persecuted and punished and arrested," Jodie Emery, the company's CEO, told CBC News.

"We have always used peaceful civil disobedience to break the law in order to change the law."

While Emery hopes there won't be any legal backlash, she's prepared to take the fight to court if necessary.

Montreal police declined CBC's request for an interview, but a spokesperson said in an email that police intervene when there are violations of the law that governs drugs and other substances.

Earlier this week, Mayor Denis Coderre said he supports decriminalization, but added the current law should be applied for the time being.

Jodie Emery in front of their location in Hamilton, Ontario. (Jodie Emery)

No consumption on site allowed, for now

The Montreal stores will sell recreational marijuana to anyone who proves they are 19 or older.

"Most of the locations are clean, white storefronts with open windows and signs," Emery said.

In the first room, clients will be required to show their identification to prove their age. After that, Emery said, they'll be allowed into a second room where they can browse the cannabis flowers, hash, and extracts on display.

Montreal and Quebec are very unique in Canada. They like to do things their own way.- Jodie Emery

No on-site consumption of marijuana will be allowed at any of the Montreal stores for now.

Depending what kind of reception her shops get, Emery hopes to eventually create a more Amsterdam-style, cannabis café scene.

"Montreal and Quebec are very unique in Canada. They like to do things their own way in some regards. So we hope that they'll set the model by embracing Cannabis Culture," Emery said.

On Wednesday afternoon a cleaning crew was busily preparing one Cannabis Culture storefront on St-Laurent Boulevard. The full list of Montreal locations was released less than 24 hours before they opened. (CBC)

With files from Brennan Neill


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