This week in Cannabis: Quebec’s CAQ government changed their mind on a province-wide public smoking ban targeting cannabis consumers, a judge dismissed an elderly Niagara man’s claim that 1,200 home-grown cannabis plants were for personal medical use, and industry experts predict cannabis edibles won’t hit market shelves until at least 2020.
We’ve rounded up this week’s top stories from across Canada
For months, municipal leaders from Montreal and Gatineau maintained that a province-wide ban on smoking cannabis in public would be next to impossible to enforce. Further, city representatives wanted a local say in what was going on in their city.
Montreal Mayor Valérie Plante called the provincial Bill 2 from the CAQ (Coalition Avenir Québec) “an attack on municipal autonomy” while Premier François Legault acknowledged he was “sensitive” to urban logistical concerns, like renters who would have nowhere to spark up.
Though the province failed to ban cannabis smoking and vaping in public, the CAQ government still plans to go ahead with raising the legal age for cannabis consumption from the lowest in the country to the highest.
Following a 2016 arrest, 65-year-old Armand Delorme from Niagara, Ontario, claimed the 1,200 cannabis plants found on his property was intended to be used as a five-year supply to treat chronic pain issues for both himself and his sister.
Delorme’s lawyer also attempted to claim that police had no basis for a search warrant on the property, despite the strong “skunky” smell coming from the area. The lawyer’s claim was dismissed by the judge citing law enforcement’s expertise on cannabis grow operations.
The judge did believe the plants were being grown for medical use and out of “compassion for his sister,” but because of the illegal quantity, Delorme was sentenced to 90 days in jail.
Set to come into effect in time for Canada’s one-year anniversary of legalization, regulations regarding edibles, extracts, and topicals are currently up for review. But while the deadline for legislation is Oct. 17, 2019, some industry experts are doubtful that products will hit store shelves until the new year.
Tom “Canna Tom” Ulanowski, president of NextLeaf Labs, warns eager consumers and investors that edibles and infused beverages won’t appear instantly.
There will likely be an interim period where agencies like Health Canada review new products from licensed producers and delivery services audit shipment methods.
With files from Jesse B. Staniforth.
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