Cannabis stores will now be open seven days a week in Quebec as a result of an improvement in supply levels.

From Monday, May 20, all 13 branches of the Société québécoise du cannabis will be open throughout the week. They will open at 10 a.m. every day and close at 6 p.m. Monday to Wednesday, 9 p.m. on Thursday and Friday and 5 p.m. at weekends.

“Our advisors will be available to answer your questions and guide you through the selection of 40 to 60 products that are now available,” the SQDC announced in a Facebook post.

The Quebec government opened 12 branches in 2018 spread across Montreal, Quebec City, Mascouche, Trois-Rivières, Drummondville, Mirabel, and Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu. Another was added in Brossard in March 2019, although it decided to put any further openings on hold pending a revision of the provincial government’s cannabis legislation.

The stores had to remain closed on Mondays and Wednesdays due to a chronic lack of supply in the province, as licensed producers and retailers could not keep up with surging demand in the wake of adult-use cannabis being legalized.

A lack of supply and inflated prices has ensured that the black market for marijuana remains extremely vibrant across Canada. However, the latest quarterly cannabis report from government agency Statistics Canada suggests that the gap is closing.

The proportion of Canadian cannabis users who reported sourcing marijuana illegally in Q1 2019 was 38%, compared to 51% in the corresponding period last year. A similar decrease was noted for the proportion reporting friends or family as a source.

In Quebec, consumption rates rose from 10.4% in Q1 2018 to 11% in Q1 2019, according to Statistics Canada’s national cannabis survey. The sharpest increase was seen in Ontario, which shot up from 14% to 20% year-on-year in Q1 2019.

The prevalence of cannabis was said to be the highest in Alberta, where the proportion of people using cannabis now stands at 22.5%.

Across Canada there is a male bias, with 22.3% of men and 12.7% of women reporting that they use cannabis. If the survey is upweighted for the entire adult population, it estimates that more than half a million Canadians are using cannabis before or during work. Approximately 5.3 million people in Canada say they use cannabis.

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