Quebec’s Long-Awaited Cannabis Bill Adopted At National Assembly

Photo Credit: Matilde Campodonico

Quebec’s cannabis bill has been adopted.

It was a tight vote in the National Assembly – 61 MNA’s voted for the bill, and 46 voted against.

The governing Liberals and Quebec solidaire supported the bill, while the Parti Quebecois and Coalition Avenir Quebec rejected it.

Bill 157 establishes a framework for producing, selling and consuming marijuana in the province and comes as Ottawa is expected to legalize recreational cannabis by the end of the summer.

The vote was held Tuesday after question period in the National Assembly.

PQ party leader Jean-Francois Lisee said Tuesday morning that he would like the Couillard government to ban the use of marijuana in public spaces.

He also recommended that Quebec, not Ottawa, manage the production and distribution of cannabis.

Abandoning Quebec’s agricultural sector is “unacceptable,” Lisee said, adding that he is concerned about potential links between cannabis producers and tax havens.

Public Health Minister Lucie Charlebois told reporters she was disappointed the PQ in particular decided to play politics on a matter of public health — particularly one affecting young people.

The CAQ said it will vote against the bill because the government proposed set the legal age at 18, and not 21.

More to come.