Quebec to use government stores to sell recreational cannabis

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Quebec plans to corner the recreational marijuana market by handing retail responsibilities to its government-owned liquor board, according to Radio-Canada, a move that might see private businesses barred from selling marijuana after it’s legalized next summer.

Canada’s second-largest province by population might follow in the footsteps of Ontario.

Radio-Canada, a government-owned broadcaster, also said the legal age to buy recreational marijuana in Quebec will be 18, one year younger than neighboring Ontario and New Brunswick.

Quebec’s cannabis framework hasn’t been officially unveiled, but a forum of experts commissioned by the province concluded that “a monopoly is the best option,” and the majority Liberal government seems to be taking them up on their advice.

Prince Edward Island is also expected to sell recreational cannabis in government-run stores, while British Columbia, Alberta and Manitoba might carve out a space for private businesses.