SAQ union explores selling marijuana at liquor stores
Montreal cannibis advocate raises concern pot sold at SAQs would be over-regulated and over-taxed
The debate is swirling over whether marijuana should be sold at SAQs after Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne suggested Monday that provincial liquor outlets should be the point of sale for legalized pot.
The union representing workers at Quebec liquor stores says it has ordered a study into the possibility, and the results are expected next year.
- LCBO well suited to sell marijuana when legal, Kathleen Wynne says
- B.C. liquor stores press for right to sell legal pot
Until then, the Syndicat des employés de magasins et de bureaux de la SAQ isn't taking a position on the issue.
"We must also consult our union members on the subject," union president Alexandre Joly said in an email.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has promised to legalize marijuana, but the details on where and how it will be sold are still to be worked out.
Over-taxation at the liquor store?
Adam Greenblatt, executive director and co-founder of Santé Cannabis, a Montreal medical marijuana clinic, is against the idea of selling the drug at SAQs. He argues alcohol and pot shouldn't be sold side by side.
"I would prefer to see it sold in pharmacies, dispensaries and age-restricted coffee shops," he told CBC Montreal`s Radio Noon.
On Twitter, people seem to agree that SAQs are not the place for marijuana.
<a href="https://twitter.com/CBCRadioNoon">@CBCRadioNoon</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/CBCMontreal">@CBCMontreal</a> Terrible idea. Shouldn't mix the two together. Pot has medicinal purposes, alcohol does not. Sends a bad message.—@Silversnack
<a href="https://twitter.com/CBCRadioNoon">@CBCRadioNoon</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/CBCMontreal">@CBCMontreal</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/JustinTrudeau">@JustinTrudeau</a> Alcohol & Marijuana shouldn't mix. Follow SAQ model, but separate buildings.—@DiLaheurte
Feds launch consultation
Key federal cabinet ministers – Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould, along with Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale and Health Minister Jane Philpott – are set to begin a federal–provincial–territorial process that will lead to the legalization and regulation of marijuana.
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For her part, Wynne said LCBO outlets would be well-positioned to sell the drug in Ontario.
"It makes sense to me that the liquor distribution mechanism that we have in place – the LCBO – is very well-suited to... the social responsibility aspects that would need to be in place," she said Monday.
Manitoba Premier Greg Selinger and a prominent B.C. union that represents workers in government-owned stores in that province have taken similar positions.