WATCH: Your first look inside Quebec's new pot shops
Inside one of the three Société Québécoise du Cannabis (SQDC) outlets, scheduled to open their doors Wednesday morning, it feels a lot more like a pharmacy than a head shop.
The decor is clean and minimal. There aren't any pot leaves on the walls.
When you walk in, you're not greeted by the wafting aroma of marijuana. Instead, you come face-to-face with a security guard, who will be stationed at all times behind a desk inside a discreet vestibule at the front of the shop.
Every cannabis outlet in the province will have a similar entrance way, and all patrons who appear to be under the age of 25 will be asked to provide government issued identification.
If you are indeed 18 years of age, you'll then proceed to one of the interactive touch screen terminals where you can browse the selection in the store.
Welcome to the new SQDC cannabis store on the St-Hubert plaza! IDs will be checked at the door. Then an info station where you can browse. Finally, head to the cash, where the supply is kept behind the counter. #CJAD800 pic.twitter.com/lEngxRuSND— Matt Gilmour (@MGilmourMTL) October 16, 2018
You won't be allowed to get up close and personal with the product, smell tests are not allowed, at least for the time being. All of the product is kept behind the counter, so you'll have to rely on the touchscreen monitors if you like to peruse.
The terminals offer information about the type of cannabis plant each product came from, whether its an indica plant, a sativa plant, or hybrid of the two. It also gives information about the percentage concentration of the active ingredients, THC and CBD.
If you're already confused, don't worry.
To break it down into basics, sativas are more for daytime use, while indica strains are better for evening and nighttime. THC is the psychoactive ingredient that gets you 'high,' while CBD serves a more medicinal and sedative purpose.
More information is printed in leaflets that are available beside the screens. But, the information is somewhat limited, as the SQDC is trying to walk the fine line between information sharing and product promotion.
If you wan't to know which strain is right for a certain vibe or activity, you'll have to do your homework before heading to the store.
Once you've made your choice, you can head to the counter, where an employee will take and fill your order. Once again, think of the procedure you use at the pharmacy.
All of the products come in sealed opaque containers, in order to maintain discretion, and ensure quality control.
You can buy your cannabis in dried flower form (both ground and non-ground), in boxes of pre-rolled joints, in oils, and in sprays. Edibles will not be sold for at least the first year.
The law in Quebec says a person can only buy and carry 30 grams of cannabis at once — that's a little more than an ounce. You can legally keep up to 150 grams in your home.
To make, things easier at the checkout, you will only be allowed to buy in 1g, 3.5g, and 15g quantities. There are no price discounts based on quantity.
The Montreal SQDC stores set to open on Wednesday are:
• 6872 St. Hubert St. (St. Hubert Plaza)
• 9250 Acadie Blvd. (Marché Central)
• 970 Ste. Catherine St. West (at Peel)
Another Montreal location, at 830 Ste. Catherine E., a few steps away from Berri Square, is expected to open later this month.
The stores will be open seven days a week — from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday to Friday, and from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekend days.
Not a very promising sign. The downtown #Montreal #cannabis store is still in renovation mode, two days ahead of legalization. L'Acadie location also up against the clock. Berri-UQAM location has already been delayed. #CJAD800 pic.twitter.com/pvYZ4YoD5M— Matt Gilmour (@MGilmourMTL) October 15, 2018