Cannabis retail in Quebec: inside look at the SQDC
Quebec's first legal locations to sell cannabis will open Wednesday, and officials gave reporters an inside look at what looks more like a health store than a head shop.
Three stores will open in Montreal, with nine more in the rest of the province, as well as an online store SQDC.ca (only functional Oct. 17) where people can order pot and have it shipped by mail.
"We will guide them through the product attributes but we will not promote any products. So we will not say if you want that feeling, if you want that effect, use that product instead of this one. This is really clear, we will not promote any product as such," said Jean-Francois Bergeron of the SQDC.
"However we will explain the segregation of the products, we will explain the effects, we will explain as well the negative effects. Again, it's really from a safety and security perspective that we do what we do. This is clear in our mission."
People will only be allowed to buy 30 grams per visit, at a cost of about $5.25 to $9/gram, with the average price at $7/gram.
Each household will be allowed to have up to 150 grams at home that should be stored in a location that is inaccessible to children.
Quebec will have the lowest price point across the country, which is designed to help the stores compete with and ultimately shut down the black market.
"One thing we are expecting is to get about 30 per cent of the black market at the end of the first year which represents 50 metric tonnes of cannabis the first year," said Bergeron.
Buyers can choose between dried buds, ground cannabis, pre-rolled joints, or cannabis oil, pills, or oral spray, and buyers will be able to choose from three different types of cannabis: Indica, known for its relaxing properties; Sativa, known of inducing a cerebral, uplifting feeling and Hybrid, which is a blend of both. Products will also vary in intensity by having different quantities of THC and CBD, the active ingredients in cannabis, in them.
There will be no self-service in the stores.
The SQDC said that on opening day stores will have 130 of 150 eventual products, including accessories.
Stores in Montreal will be open at:
- 6872 St. Hubert St. (St. Hubert Plaza)
- 9250 Acadie Blvd.
- 970 Ste. Catherine St. West (at Peel)
The other locations opening Wednesday are:
- 670 Bouvier St., Quebec City
- 2491 Sainte Foy Rd., Quebec City
- 95 President Kennedy Way, Levis
- 3548 des Forges Blvd., Trois Rivieres
- 965 St Joseph Blvd., Drummondville
- 110-1 St. Germain St. West, Rimouski
- 13421 Curé Labelle Blvd., Mirabel
- Suite 114, 174 Saint Luc Blvd, Saint Jean sur Richelieu
- 172 Montée Masson, Mascouche
Several locations are due to open later in the month at:
- 830 Ste. Catherine St. East, Montreal
- 10 Place Bourget Sud, Joliette
- 9575 Ignace St., Brossard
The SQDC is planning to open about 100 more locations through 2020, each one being at least 150 metres away from a school or daycare, and none will be in enclosed malls.
Stores will be open from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday to Friday, and from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekends.