Quebec to set up provincial body to control marijuana industry

Quebec tabled cannabis legislation on Thursday that will give a provincially run agency tight control over the purchase, storage and sale of the drug.A newly created subsidiary of Quebec’s liquor corporation will oversee the pot industry, Public Health Minister Lucie Charlebois said in the national assembly as she tabled Bill 157.Charlebois said the bill forbids minors from possessing cannabis, prohibits people from growing it for personal use and stipulates that smoking it will be banned in the same places where smoking tobacco is illegal.Will marijuana advertising follow the restrictions placed on alcohol or on tobacco?Weed is the new craft beer, says former Budweiser exec: ‘Ignore it at your peril’The bill introduces “a new principle of zero tolerance” regarding drivers caught under the influence of marijuana or any other drug.“It prohibits anyone from driving a vehicle … or having control of a vehicle if there is any detectable presence of cannabis or any other drug in their saliva,” Charlebois said.The bill also gives police officers the power to demand saliva samples from drivers suspected of being under the influence.Only the new agency — the Societe quebecoise du cannabis — will be allowed to buy cannabis from a producer, transport it, store it and sell it, although there may be certain exceptions.Ottawa has promised marijuana will be legal across Canada by next July 1 and has left it to the provinces to create their own legal framework on how the law would be enforced on their territory.Quebec tabled the legislation a day after it again asked the federal government to push back the July 1 deadline by one year so the province can reach agreement with Ottawa on various money-related issues such as the division of tax revenues.On Thursday, the national assembly adopted a motion by a margin of 97-2 to ask Ottawa to delay implementing the law. read more

HSE rehired three staff the day after they retired

first_imgTHE HEALTH SERVICE Executive rehired three of its former staff last year – just one day after they retired.Records obtained by the Medical Independent newspaper show that of 120 former HSE staff who were rehired by the agency last year, seven had already availed either of early retirement or voluntary redundancy schemes.In three cases – including a senior area medical officer and a nurse – the employee returned to work the day after leaving. The nurse in question still works for the HSE.The health service has seen several rounds of voluntary redundancies, as authorities try to lower employee numbers in an attempt to cut the annual pay bill which this year stands at €6.25 billion.The HSE also saw significant numbers leave work in the first quarter of last year, when an incentivised public service pension scheme lapsed. Employees who retired before last February 29 had their pension entitlements calculated based on their peak salaries and not their final, post-cut levels.Of the 120 former staff rehired by the HSE last year, 81 still work there – despite having received either pension lump sums or severance pay when they first left.Pay rules in the public sector mean, however, that any employee’s combined pay and pension cannot be larger than the pay grade they would have been entitled to before their retirement.In full: Read more at the Medical Independent >last_img read more