After months of debate and revisions, Quebec has adopted a law laying out the guidelines for the sale and distribution of cannabis in the province.
Premier Philippe Couillard’s Liberals, who hold a majority in the National Assembly, all voted for Bill 157. Québec Solidaire, which holds three seats, also voted in favour.
The opposition Parti Québécois and Coalition Avenir Québec voted against (more on that later).
Public Health Minister Lucie Charlebois says the province will be ready when the federal legislation will be in place later this year.
But she also took pains to stress the government is not promoting cannabis and the legislation includes plenty of restrictions on its use.
The rules in Quebec rank among the most conservative in the country.
Here’s a breakdown of what’s in the legislation and what to expect going forward.
Where will it be sold?
The SAQ, Quebec’s liquor board, will oversee the sale and distribution of marijuana, but the sales will be carried out by a new, separate entity: the Société Québécoise du Cannabis (SQDC).
Marijuana will be available for purchase at SQDC-run stores and online.
There are plans to open about 20 stores by December and between 150 and 160 stores in the next two to three years.