Can municipalities go this far in their rules prohibiting cannabis use?

October 10th, 2018

In light of the recent prohibitions that have been adopted by a number of municipalities regarding cannabis consumption in public places, The Canadian Press sat down with Isabelle Landry, a lawyer with our firm, to find out how far a city’s by-laws can go when it comes to cannabis.

"According to Ms. Landry, who specializes in municipal law with the BCF law firm, municipalities have the power to do this and to make more stringent rules than the government of Quebec, not just under the new powers granted by the Cannabis Regulation Act, but also under the general powers they can use to promote peace, order, good government, and the general public welfare. She added, however, that those by-laws may not be more permissive.

She believes that the parallel with alcohol provides a good illustration of the situation: alcohol is legal in Quebec, but people are not entitled to consume alcohol in public places or to be intoxicated in public. This is clearly the direction that a number of municipalities are taking.

Ms. Landry believes that it would be difficult to argue that municipalities are exceeding their jurisdiction and to challenge their by-laws, since those restrictions, in her opinion, are permitted by the law. Prohibitions on using cannabis in dwellings, however, are not within their authority."

To learn more, please read the complete article published in La Presse on October 10, 2018.