Canadian Supreme Court to scrutinize Quebec ban on homegrown cannabis

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Canada’s Supreme Court said it will hear a challenge on the constitutionality of Quebec’s law banning the home cultivation of adult-use cannabis.

Quebec, the second most-populous province in Canada, passed a law in 2018 forbidding its residents from growing cannabis for their own use, even as the federal government was lifting its prohibition on the consumption and cultivation of the drug.

The law imposed fines on those who violate the ban on home growing.

For example, people found to be cultivating four or fewer plants at home would be fined between 250 Canadian dollars ($200) and CA$750 for a first offense.

Quebec’s Cannabis Regulation Act had been declared unconstitutional in 2019 by the province’s Superior Court, but that decision was overturned in 2021 by the Quebec Court of Appeal.

That set the stage for the Supreme Court challenge on home grows.

Quebec has the most restrictive laws and regulations governing the legal industry in Canada.

The province also does not allow cannabis vaping products to be sold in the province, leaving room for a prolific underground market.

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After Quebec raised the legal age for cannabis purchases from 18 to 21 in January 2020, regulated sales plunged in the border city of Gatineau as young consumers flocked into Ontario to buy products.

Ontario’s legal age for cannabis purchases is 19.