The Quebec government could announce this Thursday the obligation to present a vaccine pass to access cannabis and alcohol stores. This is the information reported by the Journal of Montreal and confirmed by The Press. A strong incentive to force cannabis users to go through vaccination to buy their favorite products.
The Quebec Minister of Health is holding a press conference at 11 a.m. (5 p.m. French time) and will unveil these new measures.
In the French-speaking Canadian province, cannabis is sold exclusively by the Société Québécoise du Cannabis (SQDC). This 100% public company is a subsidiary of another public entity, the Société des Alcools du Québec (SAQ).
“The SAQ had some discussions with the government on this subject. If the latter goes in this direction, we will apply this health measure as we have done with all the other measures deployed since the start of the pandemic “, states the company in an email to Press.
Fear that consumers will turn to the black market
After the device “a joint against a vaccine” set up in the United States, the center-right Quebec government of François Legault could well invent another principle: “no joint without vaccine”. Cannabis stores are not particular places of covid-19 contamination. But their clients are often young. And between 12 and 15% of young Quebecers are not vaccinated.
However, some fear that this measure is counterproductive. Instead of pushing cannabis enthusiasts to a vaccination center… they could go back to the black market. There, there is obviously no vaccination pass. This would be a real step backwards, since the legal market in the “Belle-Province” is doing very well. Two out of three cannabis purchases are made in shops and no longer on the street.
For the time being, we have no details on the outlines of the “no joint without vaccine” measure. For example, Quebecers do not know if stores will ask for the vaccine pass at the entrance or at the cash desk, or if it will also apply to online orders. Because the SQDC delivers their customers to their homes.
“The government decides to cross the Rubicon. It is a controversial decision, which will cause a lot of reaction, prognosis Olivier Bourque, who reveals this information in the Journal of Montreal and spoke on QUB radio. Since the start of the pandemic, the SAQ and SQDC have been considered essential businesses, necessary for Quebecers. ”