Clones are finally on sale in Newfoundland, public health experts are attacking Quebec’s plan to raise the age of cannabis consumption to 21, and changes to the Smoke Free Ontario act threaten the future of cannabis cafes in Canada’s most populous province.
We’ve rounded up this week’s top stories from across Canada.
Top Headlines From Around the Web
Quebec Public Health Figures Oppose Age Raise to 21
A group of six doctors and addiction specialists released a statement through the Quebec Association for Public Health decrying Bill 2, the legislation tabled last week that will raise the age for consumption and purchase of cannabis from 18 to 21. Université de Montréal addictions specialist Jean-Sébastien Fallu said, “There is no logical or scientific argument to support an age of access to cannabis later than the age of access to alcohol or tobacco. […] If we are worried about our kids, we should first of all address alcohol. It’s way more dangerous than cannabis.”
Deputy health minister Lionel Carmant repeated his belief that raising the legal age will present adults below 21 with enough of an obstacle that they will delay beginning cannabis use.
“What we want in the broader aspect, is to delay the onset of cannabis smoking, not only for 18 year olds, but really for the teenagers,” Carmant said. “We have to say that one out of three teenagers in Quebec smokes cannabis and this is where we want to change the habits.”
Newfoundland Invaded by Clones
The first clones for sale by a provincial cannabis board were spotted on the Cannabis NL website, priced around $40 each. The plants were sourced from Ontario’s Natural MedCo, part of their cannabis-for-women brand Eve Cannabis—though presumably Newfoundlanders of all genders can grow, dry, and enjoy the strains equally. For those who want to grow their own, clones may be preferable to seeds, since buyers may see the plant they are getting before committing to growing it.
Ontario Lounges Forced to Close
Last week, Windsor cannabis lounge Higher Limits announced last week that it would close up shop at the end of December—due to changes to the Smoke Free Ontario Act, which treats medical cannabis combustion or vaporization as equal to tobacco consumption. This week, legendary Toronto lounge the HotBox followed suit. The Kensington-Market hotspot, which has been in operation for nearly two decades, announced it will be ending on-site cannabis consumption while continuing to fight for a safe consumption space. In her message to the public, founder Abi Roach said she believes the situation will be temporary and eventually the law will be changed by citizens demanding their MPPs license cannabis lounges.
West Coast Catholic Bishops Remind You Getting High for Fun is a Sin
BC and Yukon Catholic Bishops warned that regardless of whether recreational cannabis is legal, using it is a sin.
The same doesn’t go for medical cannabis, which the Church supports. However, “When there is no genuine medical need for using a drug and it is used merely to cause inebriation, it is sinful behaviour.” Catholics who enjoy recreational cannabis “should discuss this with a priest in Confession.”
This statement followed on a statement in June from the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops that argued, “the virtue of temperance, as explained in the Catechism of the Catholic Church, disposes us to avoid every kind of excess: the abuse of food, alcohol, tobacco or medicine”—meaning cannabis used recreationally is sinful.
To Do List
TORONTO, ON — Shop local this holiday season at this 420-friendly market popping up an Dec. 15 from 6 p.m. to midnight. Location details will be provided via text on the day of the event but tickets are available for $5 online.
VANCOUVER, BC — On West Hastings, The Vancity Bull Dog Cafe is hosting a coat drive until Dec. 24. And, as if spreading some warmth isn’t enough to brighten up your holiday, the cafe is offering a free gift—which is reportedly, a free dab or joint—in exchange for donations.
PODCAST — Listen to the premiere episode of Leafly Canada’s newest podcast. This week, co-hosts Sarah Hanlon and Ian Campeau chat with Ljubica Kostovic, a linguist, former war refugee, and cannabis educator for Tokyo Smoke, about prohibition, legalization, and the ways that words shape our perceptions of daily life.
PODCAST —This week on EXTRACTED, Deepak Anand, Vice President of Government Relations at Canada Compliance Inc. speaks to the challenges and successes of Canada’s burgeoning cannabis industry and advocates for increased access to medical cannabis.