Montreal

Quebec to table marijuana bill in fall, following province-wide public hearings

Quebec announced Monday it will table cannabis legislation in the fall, after holding extensive public consultations.

Province's public health minister says federal legislation lacks specifics, such as guidelines for pot's sale

Quebec Public Health Minister Lucie Charlebois says the provinces will need more money because they will play a big role in managing legalized marijuana and its impacts. (CBC)

Quebec announced Monday it will table cannabis legislation in the fall, after holding extensive public consultations.

Public Health Minister Lucie Charlebois said the province will meet with national and international experts before carrying out public hearings across the province.   

There will also be a consultation with Indigenous groups, in which Quebec Native Affairs Minister Geoffrey Kelley will take part.

Recreational cannabis is expected to be legalized across Canada as of July 1, 2018.

When the announcement was made in April, Charlebois said the federal government failed to provide detailed guidelines for its sale.

"We have to prepare ourselves to better face the issues that we consider to be priorities, notably those concerning health and security for all," Charlebois said in Monday's statement.

As far as how cannabis will be taxed in Quebec, Charlebois said "everything is on the table." 

Safety 1st

In a recent survey, Quebecers were shown to be less receptive to the proposed legalization of cannabis than are people in the rest of Canada.

A CROP poll conducted on behalf of CBC's French-language network, Radio-Canada, showed the biggest fear people have about legalization is the possible increase in road accidents. 

Charlebois said road safety is one of the issues to be addressed in the consultations, in the hope of finding practical solutions.

The Quebec government is working to table cannabis legislation that will protect the health and safety of Quebecers. (Darryl Dyck/Canadian Press)

Other issues include public security, as well as the distribution and sale of cannabis.

Consultations will begin at the end of August and run until mid-September. Quebecers can register to take part, starting June 21. 

Quebecers who aren't able to attend in person will be able to have their say online. 

Charlebois said these consultations are essential for the government to be able to make the "best decisions possible for all Quebecers."

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