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Distribution of cannabis by an SAQ subsidiary

Montréal, the Novembre 16, 2017 - The SAQ has taken note of the draft Loi constituant la Société québécoise du cannabis, édictant la Loi encadrant le cannabis et modifiant diverses dispositions en matière de sécurité routière, the as-yet untranslated bill that was tabled today by the Quebec government. The bill calls for the creation of the Société québécoise du cannabis, a subsidiary of the SAQ whose mission will be to distribute and sell cannabis at the retail level in a way that protects public health, the goal being to integrate consumers into the legal cannabis market and keep them in it without actually encouraging cannabis use.

The SAQ intends for the subsidiary to fulfill this mission efficiently and diligently. To ensure this is the case, the SAQ will make available its expertise and know-how in responsible sales practices. The SAQ realizes the importance of drawing a clear distinction between the beverage alcohol and cannabis markets and feels that creating an independent subsidiary to distribute cannabis meets this requirement. As the federal act legalizing cannabis is scheduled to enter into force in less than eight months, specifically on July 1, 2018, the company currently plans to open some 15 points of sale in the summer of 2018. The SAQ will release its deployment plan in the coming weeks.

Online sales will be offered as soon as the federal act enters into force. Although the details of the ordering and distribution process remain to be worked out, the SAQ can confirm that the online sales platform for cannabis will be entirely separate from the one for purchasing beverage alcohol (SAQ.com).

The SAQ will carefully examine the bill in the coming weeks and will work closely with the government to lay the foundation for the future subsidiary.