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On October 17th, cannabis became legal in Canada. In Québec, people over the age of 18 can now legally purchase this drug, with a few restrictions. A good understanding of these restrictions is important, as certain aspects of cannabis are still illegal. Here are some answers to several frequently asked questions.
At what age can I buy cannabis?
The legal age is different from province to province. In most provinces, you have to be 19 years or older in order to purchase cannabis. However, in Québec (and Alberta), the minimum age is 18 years, though the CAQ government plans on increasing the legal age to 21.
Where can I buy cannabis?
In Québec, the only stores allowed to sell cannabis will be those operated by the government: the Société québécoise du cannabis. You can also buy their products on the SQDC website, which they will then deliver to your doorstep. There are four stores in Montreal, and eleven more on the outskirts of the island.
How much does it cost?
The lowest priced product on the SQDC website is in the dried flower form, which costs $8.50 per gram, all taxes included. However, 40 mL of an oral spray can go for up to $105.90. The price you pay will vary widely within this range of costs, depending on the type of product and the quantity purchased.
What are the potential risks?
Cannabis affects each consumer differently. Many will experience euphoria and relaxation while for others, consumption will result in anxiety, fear or a panic attack, as well as psychotic episodes. For people with a pre-existing heart condition, cannabis use can lead to an increased risk of heart attacks. In the long term, frequent use can result in lung infections, chronic coughing and bronchitis, as well as negatively impacting brain development.
What kind of products are available?
Currently, the SQDC is selling dried flowers, oils, oral sprays, pre-rolled joints, and pills. There are many different varieties of each product, and you can select from a wide range of potencies and scents. Currently, edibles are still illegal, however if this law is changed, then the SQDC will also sell them. Furthermore, there are also limits to the quantity you can purchase. The maximum amount that an individual is allowed to purchase at a time is 30 grams, which is also the maximum amount that can be carried on your person.
Can I smoke on campus?
No. Unlike tobacco, the possession or consumption of any form of cannabis is not tolerated on campus grounds. Any students found carrying cannabis will be subject to the existing Policy 13, which details the student code of conduct. This means that any students found guilty could face suspension or expulsion.
All in all, it is important to consider the various effects of cannabis, and how they can vary from person to person. Be aware of the laws surrounding this drug, and how to navigate them. To learn more, visit the SQDC’s official site, as well as Health Canada’s.
Originally Published in Bandersnatch Vol. 48 Issue 04 on October 24, 2018