Recreational cannabis was legalized in Canada in 2018. However, “legalized” doesn’t mean that anything goes. Here are some basic rules that you should know!
1. Cannabis is only legal if you buy it from the SQDC
The only legal way to buy cannabis in Quebec is through the Société Québécoise du Cannabis (SQDC). This means that it is illegal to buy your cannabis from a friend or from a website other than the SQDC’s. If you’re caught, you could be charged with a crime.
The rules for medical cannabis are different. You can visit Health Canada’s website to find out more.
There are several forms of cannabis available for sale in Quebec: dried flower, extracts, and edibles. There are restrictions on how they can be produced and marketed. For instance, all products must come in plain packages.
In addition, edibles cannot be made using anything that would make them attractive to people under 21. This means they cannot contain anything sweet or any added colouring.
2. Don’t share cannabis with anyone under 21
Be careful when sharing cannabis with others. It is illegal to buy cannabis for someone under 21 in Quebec or share it with them.
3. You can’t consume cannabis in public
You cannot consume (vape, smoke, etc.) cannabis in a public place in Quebec. The list of public places includes all:
- outside public places, including parks, playgrounds, sports fields, day camps and summer camps.
- public roads (sidewalks, alleyways, streets, highways, footpaths, etc.)
- bus shelters
- terraces or other outdoor commercial spaces
You also can’t smoke on a bike or in a car, even if it’s parked, and even if you’re not the one driving.
4. You can consume cannabis at home, but your landlord can say no
If you’re a tenant, your landlord can forbid you from consuming cannabis in your home when you sign your lease. Your landlord can also modify your lease. For a 12-month lease, the landlord must send you a notice three to six months before your lease renews. If you wish to contest the landlord’s modification, please visit the Tribunal administratif du logement (TAL, formerly Régie du logement or rental board) website.
If you live in a condo, your condo board can also forbid you from consuming cannabis in the common areas. Condo boards can also forbid cannabis consumption in private area, if that consumption bothers other residents.
If you are a medical cannabis user, special rules apply. Please visit Health Canada’s website for more information.
If you own your home, you can consume in your house or outside on your property. However, there are restrictions. For instance, if you have a daycare in your home, you cannot consume cannabis during the hours where childcare is provided.
5. Where you are limits how much you can possess
In public, the possession limit is 30 grams of dried cannabis. The limit for other forms of cannabis is the equivalent of 30 grams of dried cannabis. For example:
|17 100 g
|Non-solids containing cannabis (other than cannabis beverages)
|Extracts (shatter, hash oil, etc.)
Please note that there are some places where you cannot possess cannabis in public. Here are examples:
- You can possess up to 150 grams of dried cannabis or its equivalent at home. It doesn’t matter if it’s an apartment, condo, or your house – the limit of 150-gram applies to the entire household. This means that if you live with others, you must share the 150-gram limit.
6. You can’t grow cannabis at home in Quebec
In some provinces, you can grow up to four cannabis plants at home. Quebec has decided to ban citizens from growing their own cannabis plants. This means that if you get caught with a plant, you could be fined.
7. You can’t consume cannabis and drive
Driving while impaired is a crime. This means that if you have more than a certain amount of THC (the psychoactive component in cannabis) in your blood while driving, you can be charged with a crime. The seriousness of the crime depends on how much THC is in your blood. For more information please see our article on impaired driving.
In Quebec, a “zero-tolerance” system will be put in place. This means that you will not be allowed to drive with any cannabis present in your blood. If you are caught, you will not be charged with a crime, but you could receive a fine and lose demerit points.Your driver’s license will also be automatically suspended for 90 days. This zero-tolerance system is not in effect at the moment, but will be implemented at some point in the future.