When cannabis was legalized in Canada in October 2018, Canadians were legally permitted to grow up to four plants at home for personal use—except in Quebec, where the province’s Cannabis Regulation Act prohibits home cultivation.
This ban is once again being challenged. The Supreme Court of Canada will hear an appeal on the constitutionality of Quebec’s law banning home cultivation. The current law imposes fines on those who violate the ban on home growing, which is $750 per plant unless the Quebec resident is growing with a medical authorization through their physician and Health Canada.
Quebec’s Cannabis Regulation Act was first declared unconstitutional and in violation of the federal law in 2019 by the province’s Superior Court. That decision was overturned in 2021 by the Quebec Court of Appeal. A date has not yet been set for the new hearing.
Federal laws give provinces the ability to set their own laws, as long as they abide by the minimum standards set federally. Quebec has the most restrictive laws and regulations governing the legal cannabis industry in Canada.
In 2019, the province banned cannabis vaping products from being sold. As of January 1, 2020, the minimum legal age to possess or purchase cannabis was raised from 18 to 21 years of age. Quebec was also one of the few provinces to require a vaccine passport to gain entry into its cannabis stores, though this was phased out after less than three months.
Despite these restrictions, Quebec has the highest average sales per store, when comparing provinces across Canada, with Montreal, Quebec City, and Gatineau topping the list of cities with the highest average per month. However, with only 84 government-run stores in operation at the end of February, there is definitely room for growth in the number of stores the Société québécoise du cannabis (SQDC) runs in the province.