Quebec wants to talk pot at agriculture ministers meeting

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The Quebec government wants Canada’s agriculture ministers to talk about pot when they meet for their annual federal-provincial-territorial meeting in Vancouver next week.

In an email, Christine Harvey, press secretary for Quebec’s Agriculture Minister Laurent Lessard said Quebec officials have requested cannabis be added to the meeting’s agenda.

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The Quebec government also wants to talk about the management of health emergencies when ministers meet, Harvey said.

Canada’s agriculture ministers are set to meet in British Columbia July 18-20, three months before Canadians will legally be allowed to consume marijuana. Lessard is expected to attend the annual meeting.

C-45, the Liberal government’s Cannabis Act that will legalize non-medical use of pot this fall, received Royal Assent from Parliament at the end of June. 

However, the Trudeau government delayed the country’s legalization date to October 17 in order to ensure provinces, police services and other officials were prepared.

Many within Canada’s agriculture industry have said they see this country’s decision to legalize cannabis as a potential growth market for the sector.

A report released by Deloitte in June estimated the legal cannabis industry could generate up to $4.35 billion in sales, with Canadians expected to spend up to $7.17 billion on cannabis products in 2019. Consumption, the study estimated, could grow by as much as 35 per cent.

Deloitte noted in its study the illegal market could still be worth more than $1 billion a year.

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