MONTREAL -- CAQ Minister of Labour, Employment and Social Solidarity Jean Boulet has appointed Repigteny MNA Lise Lavallee as special mediator to assist in concluding the first collective bargaining agreement with the unionized employees of the SQDC (Societe quebecoise du cannabis).

Negotiations may affect many accredited SQDC branches and associations, which currently differ from one branch to another.

Lavellee is a member of the committee on public administration.

Negotiations between the SQDC and the union representatives have been ongoing for several months, but no agreement has been reached to date.

"I hope that negotiations between the parties will continue diligently to reach a final negotiated collective agreement," said Boulet. "Ms. Lavallee has a large amount of experience that I am sure the parties will benefit from in their negotiations."

The CAQ government created the SQDC in 2018 to sell cannabis after its federal legalization in 2017.

The 28 SQDC branches are represented by 18 unions.