Cannabis Legalization in Eeyou Istchee

What you need to know about the recent adoption of the Cannabis Regulation Act on October 17, 2018


On October 17, 2018, recreational Cannabis was legalized by the Federal Government across Canada through the Cannabis Regulation Act. The Act allows for the production, distribution, and sale of recreational cannabis products throughout Canada and has been adopted within the Province of Québec. It is essential to understand the impact that this decision will have for all communities of Eeyou Istchee and to plan accordingly.


The Cree Nation Government in collaboration with the Cree Board of Health and Social Services of James Bay is emphasizing educating and informing the public about the risks and issues that are important for them to understand about cannabis consumption. Cannabis is a substance that can be dangerous and understanding the risks of long-term use are important. The risk is especially real for youth who’s neurological development is formative and can be impacted long-term by cannabis consumption.

Road and Highway Safety and Cannabis use

In addition to health, the need to stress the importance of legal and safe driving practices amidst these changes is essential. The Province of Québec, through the Highway Safety Code, has emphasized the importance of “zero tolerance” for persons consuming substances that impair their ability to operate a motor vehicle. Operating a vehicle while under the influence of cannabis is illegal and presents a significant risk to all people using roads and highways in Eeyou Istchee and Québec. The Eeyou Eenou Police Force will continue to uphold the Highway Safety Code on impaired driving conditions, including any amendments on cannabis use.

Learning more about cannabis use

We encourage all people in Eeyou Istchee to inform themselves about cannabis legalization, the laws and regulations of Québec and the risks that surround cannabis use. We have compiled resources and will continue to promote information campaigns shared by the Cree Health Board and Social Services of James Bay.