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Money Quebec's New Legal Cannabis Age Will Boost Black Market, Industry Says

09:40  31 october  2019
09:40  31 october  2019 Source:   huffingtonpost.ca

'Vibrant' black market persists as legal pot marks its first full year in Canada

  'Vibrant' black market persists as legal pot marks its first full year in Canada When the Liberal government rolled out its plans to legalize recreational marijuana, it promised to shrink the black market and keep money out of the hands of organized crime. One year later, lawyers, police and industry experts say we’re not there yet."We haven't disrupted the black market significantly at this point, but that was to be expected," said Abbotsford Police Chief Mike Serr, who chairs the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police drug advisory committee.

MONTREAL ― Quebec ’ s cannabis growers are criticizing a new law that will take away the right of consumers The province’ s new legislation, which will raise the minimum age to buy cannabis to 21 from 18, will take Producers say the move will push buyers back into the hands of the black market .

Opponents to Quebec ’ s new age limit say that the law is unfair and that it will encourage the sale of grey- and black - market cannabis . Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois, a spokesman for official Opposition party Québec Solidaire, said that it creates “two classes of adults”. The legal age to vote, buy cigarettes

a person walking down a street in front of a store: A downtown Montreal storefront of the Société Québécoise du Cannabis (SQDC), the regulatory agency for marijuana in Quebec, is photographed on May 14, 2019.© Provided by Oath Inc. A downtown Montreal storefront of the Société Québécoise du Cannabis (SQDC), the regulatory agency for marijuana in Quebec, is photographed on May 14, 2019.

MONTREAL ― Quebec’s cannabis growers are criticizing a new law that will take away the right of consumers aged 18 to 20 to buy marijuana legally.

The province’s new legislation, which will raise the minimum age to buy cannabis to 21 from 18, will take effect on Jan. 1, 2020, is being called the toughest marijuana law in the country. Producers say the move will push buyers back into the hands of the black market.

“This decision goes against the objective of legalization ― improve public safety by offering quality products rigorously controlled, and the eradication of the black market,” the Quebec Cannabis Industry Association ― which represents 25 cannabis producers ― said in a statement.

Why Ontario smokers still flock to the black market 1 year into pot legalization

  Why Ontario smokers still flock to the black market 1 year into pot legalization A year after Ottawa legalized recreational pot, Ontario trails the other provinces in distributing and selling the product, according to some industry watchers and experts, and that has allowed the black market to thrive. "At this point, we're lagging the most behind," said Michael Armstrong, associate professor at the Goodman School of Business at Brock University. The main issue? A lack of physical store locations.In January, the province awarded its first 25 licences for stores, citing national supply chain issues and product shortages.

Cannabis is now legal in Canada. Yet, there’ s another element that makes this milestone even Top cannabis researchers ArcView Market Research in partnership with BDS Analytics estimate that the Boxes of pre-rolled joints sit stacked at a Quebec Cannabis Society (SQDC) store during a media

Cannabis in Quebec cheat sheet. Raising the legal age to 21 is also a mistake, Plante said , because younger consumers will end up buying on a black market that is not subject to any controls. Plante said municipal police resources would be better employed dealing with public safety and crime

The group’s president, Michel Timperio, said he found the province’s approach “surprising” given that “health officials and safety experts who advised the federal government over the implementation of cannabis legalization ... have advocated for a harm reduction approach by recommending that the minimum age be set at 18 years old.”

Industry analyst Chris Damas estimates that, with all other things being equal, the change would reduce legal cannabis sales in Quebec by about 10 per cent ― a revenue decline of around $20 million annually, at current sales levels.

But Damas doesn’t think that will happen in actuality, because of the relative ease of getting around the law.

“I doubt a motivated 19- or 20- year-old couldn’t find a 21-year-old to buy the product for a party or other get together,” Damas said.

Quebec passes cannabis law that will raise legal age to 21

  Quebec passes cannabis law that will raise legal age to 21 People in Quebec will need to wait until they are 21 to legally purchase cannabis under a new law passed by the Coalition Avenir Québec government. When the age limit is raised from to 21 from 18 on Jan. 1, 2020, it will become the highest in the country.Elsewhere in Canada, cannabis is permitted at age 19, except in Alberta, where the legal age is 18. Lionel Carmant, the province's junior health minister, said the goal is to send a "clear message" about the government's priorities.

Read more about Quebec ’ s new cannabis regulation from CTV News Montreal. The legal cannabis use age is currently 19 across most provinces, with Quebec ’ s Junior Health Minister Lionel Carmant, who tabled the bill, has said that it was created to protect young, developing brains from the risks

The Quebec Cannabis Industry Association (QCIA) thinks that the province’ s increased legal cannabis age will steer youth towards the unregulated market when it comes to buying their product. The QCIA calls young cannabis users “the most vulnerable consumers.” According to the QCIA

“I understand what the government is trying to achieve ― limit use by youths when their development is still ongoing ― but I doubt it will have a material impact on sales or the bottom line of producers.”

Quebec’s industry is worried about another obstacle potentially on the horizon: The provincial Coalition Avenir Québec (CAQ) government, led by Premier Francois Legault, has also moved to ban marijuana edibles ― a rapidly-growing part of the cannabis industry that producers had pinned their hopes on, given edibles are seen as less harmful than smoking.

The industry says Quebec faces the spectre of consumers buying edible products that were made and sold legally in other parts of Canada ― but in Quebec can only be bought through the black market.

Quebecers will soon have to be at least 21 years old to legally consume cannabis

  Quebecers will soon have to be at least 21 years old to legally consume cannabis QUEBEC — The Quebec government has passed the most restrictive cannabis law in the country, voting to ban the consumption of marijuana in most public areas and to raise the legal age from 18 to 21 years. Beginning Saturday, Quebecers will be prohibited from consuming marijuana in public. But the law permits cities to adopt their own bylaws allowing people to smoke cannabis in specific public areas where no children are present. As of Jan. 1,Beginning Saturday, Quebecers will be prohibited from consuming marijuana in public.

Canada’s big new social and legal step was met by midnight crowds at marijuana shops in St Montrealers can now peruse the offerings at cannabis shops run by Quebec ’ s liquor board. The list includes legal age , whether you can grow legal marijuana at home, and where you can actually

Cannabis in Canada is legal for both recreational and medicinal purposes. Medicinal use of cannabis was legalized nationwide on 30 July 2001 under conditions outlined in the Marihuana for Medical

“We believe that Quebecers should have access to legal products that are ... distributed by professionals who can properly inform consumers, not by the local drug dealer,” Timperio said.

Another ― perhaps larger ― problem that many industry analysts have flagged is a lack of access to legal customers.

Damas estimates that Quebec needs around 800 retail locations to fill the current demand for weed. The Société Québécoise du Cannabis (SQDC), the provincially-controlled monopoly retailer, currently lists 24 locations and has plans to open another 20 by March 2020.

A recent survey found that 82 per cent of Quebecers still bought their weed through the black market in the first year of cannabis legalization.

This article originally appeared on HuffPost Canada.

Alberta's cannabis growers must now pay property taxes to rural municipalities .
Commercial cannabis producers in Alberta will have to start paying property taxes, a move being welcomed by Alberta municipalities.  The provincial government announced the change Wednesday at the Rural Municipalities of Alberta convention in Edmonton. Municipal Affairs Minister Kaycee Madu said as of the 2020 tax year, cannabis producers will no longer be classified as agricultural businesses and so won’t qualify for a tax exemption.

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