While the Cannabis Act is set to allow all adults of 19 and older to use marijuana on a recreational basis later this month, that age may be bumped up in Quebec as early as the end of the year.
The expected change follows the centre-right Coalition Avenir Québec (CAQ) party winning a majority of seats in the 2018 Quebec general election held earlier this month.
This election marks the first time the CAQ has won enough seats to become the majority party, and stricter regulations are expected to arrive for the province’s rules covering cannabis usage.
While addressing a gathering of journalists, MNA Geneviève Guilbault from the CAQ issued this statement: “The legal age should be 21 instead of 18, and the consumption of cannabis in a public area should be forbidden.”
She went on to say, “As soon as we are sitting at the National Assembly, we will be able to have a new legislative menu, and it will be part of that. We will make sure that the legislative corrections or modifications are made to change those two aspects mainly.”
Video of Guilbault’s remarks regarding the proposed legislation can be seen below, courtesy of Global News.
Incoming CAQ premier François Legault has echoed those comments, promising to raise the minimum age for possessing, buying, or consuming marijuana to 21. No bill has been presented to raise the minimum age at this point, but specifics are expected to be announced by the CAQ in the coming weeks.
Minister of Border Security and Organized Crime Reduction Bill Blair has stated the federal government doesn’t currently plan to challenge Quebec if the province does eventually pass a minimum age bump.
The Cannabis Act officially takes effect Oct. 17, and was passed by a 52 – 29 Senate vote. The law allows adults in Canada to grow, possess, and buy marijuana, but imposes strict rules on dispensaries and public usage.