What to expect at Quebec's pot stores on Wednesday - Canadanewsmedia
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What to expect at Quebec's pot stores on Wednesday



It was a packed house at the Société québécoise du cannabis (SQDC) store on St-Hubert Street in Montreal Tuesday morning.

The SQDC, the province’s cannabis stores operator, offered a sneak peak to reporters, ahead of the official opening Wednesday — when recreational cannabis becomes legal across the country.

The Saint-Hubert location is one of three Montreal stores set to open its doors on Wednesday at 10 a.m.

The two other stores are located at 970 Ste-Catherine St. West and 9250 de l’Acadie Blvd.

WATCH: Quebec work crews scramble to finish cannabis stores ahead of Wednesday deadline

In a news release, the SQDC said stores reflect the organization’s mission of educating the public without encouraging cannabis consumption.

The stores are divided into three zones – the welcome area, the consultation zone and the storage area. They were specifically designed to “promote the safety of clients and advisers, as well as to disseminate information about education and counselling.”

Unlike liquor stores — run by the SQDC’s sister corporation the Société des alcools du Québec (SAQ) — products in cannabis stores will not be on full display.

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Upon entering the store, clients are ushered into the welcome area where their age is validated. Products aren’t visible from this zone.

Under current Quebec law, the legal age of consumption is 18 years old.

READ MORE: ‘It’s terrible what cannabis can do to youth’: CAQ promises to raise marijuana legal age if elected

However, the incoming Coalition Avenir Québec (CAQ) government has said it wants to raise the legal age to 21.

The heart of the store, as described by the SQDC, is the consultation zone. This space is dedicated to serving clients and offering advice and dispensing information.

READ MORE: Trudeau says CAQ plan to raise cannabis legal age to 21 could promote organized crime

Products in this area are available over-the-counter, much like a pharmacy, with trained advisers helping customers make informed and responsible choices.

The storage area is the third and final zone and access is restricted.

What exactly can you buy at the pot store?

A plethora of products, with names like Tangerine Dream and Great White Shark, lined the shelves of the St-Hubert Street store.

More important than the name is to know what you’re buying. Three different strains of cannabis will be for sale including indica, sativa and hybrid.

READ MORE: Cannabis IQ–Possession amnesty debated, buzzkill in Quebec and more

Each strain has different effects, levels of THC and different aromas including lemon, skunk, spicy and diesel, to name a few.

Clients will be able to choose between dried flowers, ground cannabis, pre-rolled, oil, oral atomizers or pills.

Quebec has priced products starting at $5.25 a gram, taxes included.

What you won’t find however are edibles as per provincial and federal regulations.

Other restrictions include a maximum 30-gram purchase per visit unless you’re buying online from home. Quebecers can have up to 150 grams of cannabis in their home and can carry a maximum of 30 grams outside their home.

WATCH: McGill study shows lasting effects of pot

In Montreal, cannabis smoke is banned in most places tobacco smoking is banned, but different municipalities might have different bylaws.

In addition to the 12 stores opening across the province, the corporation will begin offering online sales Wednesday.

Officials say they hope their merchandising will cut into the black market for cannabis without encouraging consumption.

— With files from the Canadian Press

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China has banned sales of Apple iPhones 6 through X in Qualcomm patent dispute – Financial Post




Qualcomm Inc on Monday said it had won a preliminary order from a Chinese court banning the importation and sale of several Apple Inc iPhone models in China that the court found violated two of Qualcomm patents.

The preliminary order affects the iPhone 6S through the iPhone X. The ruling came from the Fuzhou Intermediate People’s Court in China, the same court that earlier this year banned the import of some of memory chip maker Micron Technology Inc’s chips into China. Qualcomm initially filed the case in China in late 2017.

The court found Apple violated two of Qualcomm’s software patents around resizing photographs and managing applications on a touch screen.

“Apple continues to benefit from our intellectual property while refusing to compensate us,” Don Rosenberg, general counsel of Qualcomm, said in a statement.

Because the patents concern software, Apple could make changes to its software to avoid the patents and still be able to sell its phones.

The patents in the suit, which Qualcomm said on Monday had been upheld by the Chinese patent office, are separate from those being contested in other cases in its wide-ranging legal dispute with Apple. Qualcomm has also asked regulators in the United States to ban the importation of several iPhone models over patent concerns, but U.S. officials have so far declined to do so.

The specific iPhone models affected by the preliminary ruling in China are the iPhone 6S, iPhone 6S Plus, iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus, iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus and iPhone X.

© Thomson Reuters 2018

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Elon Musk says Tesla may consider buying idle General Motors plants – Financial Post




Tesla Inc. Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk told CBS’s “60 Minutes” that he may be willing to buy some of the five factories General Motors Co. will idle next year, making him the second rival in two days to step up with possible job-creating moves as GM takes political heat for cutting workers.

Musk made the statements in an interview with Leslie Stahl that was to air Sunday. CBS released excerpts Friday.

GM CEO Mary Barra was in Washington the past two days meeting with members of Congress about her plans to close five factories in North America and lay off 14,700 workers. She is under pressure to keep some of those facilities opened.

Tesla Inc. Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk told CBS’s 60 Minutes that he may be willing to buy some of the five factories General Motors Co. will idle next year.

AP Photo/Kiichiro Sato, File

While Barra was speaking with legislators on Thursday, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV said it will reopen one of its idle engine plant in Detroit and build a new Jeep, intensifying the irritation in Congress over GM’s plan to cut jobs.

Tesla makes the all-electric Model S, Model X and Model 3 at its sole auto plant in California, which it bought from a joint venture operated by GM and Toyota Motor Corp.

The “60 Minutes” interview, which was filmed at Tesla’s lone auto plant in Fremont, California, largely focused on Tesla’s year in which it raced to ramp up production of the Model 3 sedan. Musk credited the decision to build a third general assembly line outside under a tent with saving the company.

Assembly Line Tent

“It was life or death,” said Musk. “Those betting against the company were right by all conventional standards that we would fail. But they just did not count on this unconventional situation of creating an assembly line in a parking lot in a tent.”

Stahl pressed Musk on the string of complaints about conditions inside company factories, including unreported injuries, abusive conditions and excessive hours. Musk said there’s been an “aggressive campaign” by the United Auto Workers to attack Tesla with a “load of nonsense” in an effort to unionize the carmaker.


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GM lobbies for tax credit – Business News – Castanet.net




General Motors is fighting to retain a valuable tax credit for electric vehicles as the nation's largest automaker tries to deal with the political fallout triggered by its plans to shutter several U.S. factories and shed thousands of workers.

Preserving the $7,500 tax incentive for buyers is crucial for GM as the company pivots from internal combustion engines in favour of building cars powered by batteries or hydrogen fuel cells. Yet the layoffs and plant closings could imperil GM's push to keep the incentive. It helps make plug-ins such as the $36,000 Chevy Bolt more affordable at a time when competition from other electric vehicle makers is heating up.

GM faces opposition from President Donald Trump and other Republicans who consider the credit a waste of taxpayer money and want it eliminated. Trump, who has pledged a manufacturing rebirth in the Midwest, reacted angrily to GM's "transformation " announcement late last month, declaring that his administration was "looking at cutting all GM subsidies, including for electric cars."

The company already is on the verge of being phased out of the tax credit program unless Congress changes a law that caps the break at 200,000 vehicles per manufacturer. Without the incentive, GM may be forced to cut the price of its electric cars to keep prospective customers from taking their business elsewhere, according to automotive industry experts.

As evidence of the credit's importance to GM's future, the automaker has expanded its lobbying footprint in Washington and even joined forces with two rivals, Tesla and Nissan, to call for 200,000-vehicle limit to be scrapped.

Standing in the way of that goal is Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., the chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. Barrasso introduced legislation in October to abolish the tax credit, a move he said would save about $20 billion over the next 10 years. He has argued the market for electric vehicles is already established and "no longer needs the crutch of government assistance."

"The idea of the subsidies had to do with trying to make sure that electric vehicles would be a viable technology," Barrasso said. "Well, that's clearly there."

The tax credit came up briefly during a private meeting on Wednesday between Ohio's senators, Republican Rob Portman and Democrat Sherrod Brown, and GM chief executive Mary Barra, according to a congressional aide familiar with the conversation. As part of the restructuring, GM said it will stop making the Chevy Cruze at its Lordstown, Ohio, plant by March and is considering closing the plant for good.

Portman told Barra that it's difficult to help with priorities such as the electric vehicle credit when GM is moving production out of Ohio, according to the aide, who was not authorized to publicly discuss the private conversation and spoke on condition of anonymity.

One of the lobbyists working to salvage the credit for GM is Kent Hance, a former chancellor of Texas Tech University who is well connected in GOP circles, according to his online profile . Hance lists his role as a fundraiser for the campaigns of outgoing House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., and others. He has known Rick Perry, the energy secretary and former Texas governor, for nearly 30 years.

GM in early August named a former Trump White House official, Everett Eissenstat, its senior vice-president for global public policy, a post that oversees the company's lobbying operations. Eissenstat, however, is not registered as a lobbyist, according to disclosure records filed with Congress. Before coming to GM, he was Trump's deputy assistant for international economic affairs.

Under federal law, the $7,500 credit for buyers begins to phase out after a manufacturer has sold 200,000 qualifying electric vehicles. GM has estimated it will hit that threshold by the end of December, just as the Bolt will be facing new and potentially stiff competition.

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