Frequently asked questions about cannabis in Montréal
Q: How old must a person be to buy cannabis?
A: The age of purchase and consumption for cannabis is 18. Currently, the new provincial government has tabled legislation to raise the age to 21, but has not yet passed it, which means adults above the age of 18 may buy cannabis and use it, according to the law.
Q: Is all cannabis legal now?
A: No. In Québec, only cannabis from producers licensed by the Canadian government is legal. Though other provinces allow their citizens to grow cannabis at home, Québec does not. This means that a visitor to Québec may only use cannabis products sealed with a federal cannabis excise tax sticker to show they have been lawfully produced and have paid cannabis duties to the government of Canada.
Q: How much cannabis am I allowed to have?
A person may only buy or transport 30 grams of dried cannabis at a time, while may possess 150 grams per house or apartment.
Q: I’d like to buy some cannabis edibles. What forms of cannabis are legal?
Before October of 2019, the only forms of cannabis that are legal in Canada are dried cannabis flower, cannabis oil, and fresh cannabis.
Edible cannabis products, vaporizable cannabis products, and other cannabis concentrates (like hashish, “dabs,” “shatter,” and “budder”) are not legal to buy or possess. The law will change in October 2019, and at that time other forms of cannabis will become legal.
Q: Where can I buy cannabis legally?
A: It is only legal to buy cannabis through the Société Québécoise du Cannabis. This can mean a visit to the SQDC’s three retail locations in Montréal, or it can mean cannabis sold by mail-order through the SQDC website. No other organization or person is allowed to sell cannabis in Québec—even those who wish to resell cannabis produced legally, bearing a federal cannabis excise sticker. (The government recently cracked down on individuals reselling legal cannabis through online classified advertisements.)
Q: How long should I wait to drive after I have used cannabis?
A: Obviously, it is illegal to drive while under the influence of cannabis. However, few are sure how long a person must wait after consuming cannabis to be considered safe to drive.
Québec has banned use of a vehicle if a driver has “cannabis or any drug present in [their body].” For that reason, Health Canada counsels those who have used cannabis to rely on a taxi or designated driver. It is also illegal to use cannabis in a car.
Q: I’d like to bring my legal cannabis in my car to another location. How do I do that?
If you are transporting cannabis in a car, it must either have an unbroken excise tax seal, or if it does not, it must be kept out of reach of the driver (for example, in the trunk of the car).
Q: Can I smoke or vaporize cannabis indoors?
Smoking or vaporizing cannabis indoors may be banned by your hotel or guesthouse, or in the case of a private home, by a landlord or tenants’ association. If you are not certain whether you are allowed to smoke or vaporize cannabis where you’re staying, be sure to ask.
Q: What about smoking or vaporizing cannabis outdoors?
A: For the moment, it is legal in the province of Québec to smoke or vaporize cannabis anywhere it is legal to smoke or vaporize tobacco. However, there are not many places in which cannabis or tobacco smoking is legal. For the most part, cannabis smokers are limited to the sidewalk or in parks (provided they are not near playgrounds or schools).
However, that’s only the beginning of the story. Montréal’s boroughs are allowed to ban the smoking or vaporizing of cannabis inside their territories, and many have chosen to do so. Montréal boroughs in which cannabis smoking or vaping has been banned include Westmount, Saint-Laurent, Saint-Léonard, Pierrefonds-Roxboro, Montréal North, Rivière-des-Prairies-Pointe-aux-Trembles.
It’s important to note the boroughs that have banned cannabis in public are largely located outside of the centre of the city. Most of the boroughs offering Montréal’s tourist attractions allow smoking or vaping cannabis. These include Ville-Marie (home to downtown Montréal and Vieux-Montréal, as well as Mount Royal itself), the Plateau Mont-Royal (site of many bars and restaurants), Mercier-Hochelaga-Maisonneuve (home to the Biodome), Rosemont-La Petite-Patrie (site of the Botanical Gardens), and Sud-Ouest (including the Atwater Market).