MONTREAL — Quebec tabled legislation Thursday aimed at regulating the cannabis industry. Some quotes:
"(Alcohol and cannabis) are two very different products. Cannabis is a product that will be newly legal on the market and it has a vastly different impact from one consumer to another. So it is a product that will bring in major change and have a major impact as well. So we want to be clear about our message: If you consume cannabis, you cannot operate a vehicle." — Transport Minister Andre Fortin.
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"As we have seen with other products that were illegal and then became legal, that if you bring a dangerous substance — because this is dangerous stuff — if you bring it into the legal circuit, you have a better chance of controlling it and monitoring its consumption." —Finance Minister Carlos Leitao.
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"This is not the end. It's the beginning of legislating on this issue. It's clear we will have to adapt. It's a bill, it can be improved. The experts recommended we be prudent to start with and then to see how citizens evolve on the issue." — Public Health Minister Lucie Charlebois.
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"The concern I have is regarding future class action lawsuits. It's dangerous for the state because it has become a stakeholder in the industry and it has exposed itself to class action lawsuits in five, 10 or 15 years down the line regarding health issues." — Yves-Thomas Dorval, president of Quebec's main employers' association.
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"We understand this is new and there was considerable public pressure on the government to make sure they get this done right. Our expectation is that as people become familiar with the quality of our products ... with recreational cannabis, we'll see an opening of retail distribution in the province of Quebec." — Pierre Killeen, spokesman for Hydropothecary, one of only two Quebec companies licensed by Health Canada to produce medical marijuana.
The Canadian Press