Where will I be able to legally smoke cannabis in Montreal?
For now, you may smoke or vape cannabis anywhere in Montreal that smoking tobacco is permitted. This excludes daycares, schools, terraces, hospitals, and bus shelters – but leaves public places like sidewalks and parks available to locals (and tourists) who like to smoke or vape en plein air.
In a few months, however, this could all change. Recently-elected premier and CAQ leader François Legault has promised to restrict cannabis smoking to private residences as part of his plan to toughen up cannabis regulations in the province.
Where and how can I legally purchase cannabis in Montreal?
In Quebec, the government has a monopoly on cannabis retail sales. The legal age to purchase cannabis is 18, although the new government has stated its intention to raise it to 21.
Per the SQDC, stores must be “sober in appearance” (if not in spirit), 150 m away from schools and daycares and “easily accessible,” and the SAQ subsidiary will do its best to ensure that its relationship with municipalities is “consensual,” whatever that means. Patrons will have to provide valid ID that shows proof of age to enter the store.
Stores and the online platform are set to open at 10 am on Wednesday, October 17. Here are the Montreal locations set to open on October 17 – aka the only places you can legally buy cannabis in the city.
970 Ste-Catherine Street West
Between Metcalfe and Mansfield, in the heart of downtown. This location is close to shopping hubs like the Cours Mont-Royal and the Eaton Centre, and steps from McGill University (which happens to have one of the most restrictive cannabis policies of any post-secondary institution in the country). The store will be easily accessible by public transit via either McGill-College or Peel metro stations.
830 Ste-Catherine Street East
Between St-Hubert and St-André Streets, at the entrance to the Berri-UQAM metro station where downtown meets the Gay Village. Neighbours will include a grocery store, an SAQ location, the always-busy Parc Emilie-Gamelin, and the Université de Québec à Montréal. This location may be threatened due to the newly-elected CAQ party promise to toughen up rules about cannabis sales in proximity to university and CÉGEP campuses.
Both downtown outlets are in areas that are heavily populated by tourists and a short walk from the festival grounds at Place-des-Arts, which host attractions such as the Montreal Jazz and Just For Laughs Festivals.
9250 L’Acadie Boulevard
In the suburban Ahuntsic-Cartierville area. near a medical clinic and several offices. This one is less pedestrian-friendly than its downtown counterparts, but a good call if you have a car – there are pretty much guaranteed to be fewer tourists and shorter lineups.
6872 Rue St-Hubert
In the Rosemont- Petite-Patrie neighbourhood. Although unlikely to be as busy as the downtown locations, there could still be plenty of tourists at the St-Hubert store due to its close proximity with attractions like the Jean-Talon Market.
More stores in Montreal are expected to be opened through 2020, with locations to be determined. For a list of all SQDC locations, visit their website.
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