Quebec government’s attempt to tighten cannabis regulation could push people towards the black market according to the QCIA.
The Quebec Cannabis Industry Association (QCIA) believes that the passage of Bill 2, the Quebec government’s Act to tighten the regulation of cannabis which raises the legal consumption age from 18 to 21, will steer the most vulnerable consumers towards the black market.
Michel Timperio, president of the Quebec Cannabis Industry Association, said: “The government’s motives are surprising in this approach.
“Note that public health officials and safety experts who advised the federal government over the implementation of cannabis legalisation in the country, as well as many Quebec organisations specialising in cannabis, have advocated for a harm reduction approach by recommending that the minimum age be set at 18-years-old.”
A matter of public safety
According to the QCIA, which currently has over 25 members throughout Quebec, this decision goes against the objective of legalisation – improve public safety by offering quality products rigorously controlled, and the eradication of the black market.
The members of the Association agree that the passage of Bill 2 hinders this objective as does the Quebec government’s desire to ban edible cannabis products which are already available to Quebecers via illegal websites.
Timperio said: “The government is also about to pass its proposed edible cannabis regulation, which if accepted in its current form, would encourage consumers to purchase products from the black market that are legal and approved for sale elsewhere in Canada.
“We believe that Quebecers should have access to legal products that are controlled, properly labelled, packaged safely, and distributed by professionals who can properly inform consumers, not by the local drug dealer.”
The Quebec Cannabis Industry Association (QCIA) represents Quebec cannabis companies that are regulated under the Cannabis Act and those preparing to be regulated under the Act. QCIA provides a forum for its members to reflect on issues affecting the Quebec industry and acts as a constructive interlocutor with the government and other stakeholders.
The association’s mission is to support the development of a regulatory framework adapted to Quebec, and to support public health and safety objectives underpinning the legalisation of cannabis, namely to reduce the harm associated with consumption through the supply of quality products subject to rigorous quality control and to redirect the proceeds of cannabis to the legal market.