Marriage receptions and celebrations don't need to be sloppy alcoholic messes full of family drama and bouts of random crying/puking, because instead of an open bar, a wedding reception can be made fun with weed. No longer a taboo, marijuana wedding celebrations are a new trend in the U.S., and look to be a much better way celebrate a couple's union.
Soon-to-be married couples across Colorado and Washington (where cannabis is legal) have recently infused wedding themes and traditional gifts with weed, reports the NY Times, recreating standard wedding fare like a bride's bouquet into flowers mixed with cannabis buds and leaves.
Other marijuana wedding items include gift bags stuffed with joints and cannabis butter, reception tables named after strains of weed, baby marijuana plants as gifts, and edibles instead of regular desserts. Sounds like a wedding party we'd like to be in.
One major boon to having a weed-fueled wedding, cites many couples, is how the vibe of the reception is much more chilled out and relaxed. While couples have still included an open-bar, they've noticed the mass amounts of marijuana has calmed guests down and made for a less crazy, but still fun, reception, in comparison to other weddings where solely alcohol is served.
You may argue that weed has no place at a wedding, which is traditionally meant to be a sacred union, but in reality, it's up to the couple who is actually getting hitched. Many couples bond over their mutual adoration for all-things weed related, so why not infuse marijuana into the marriage festivities? Weirder weddings have happened (like a Bungee Jump ceremony) so weed shouldn't seem so strange.
Montreal may not have the same weed laws as Colorado or Washington, but it is still home to many marijuana enthusiasts. If anyone is getting married and got inspired by this wedding-trend, remember who pointed you in the right direction. We'll wait for our invites in the mail.
For more on all things in cannabis culture, follow Michael on Twitter @MDAlimonte
Montrealers are still relishing the legalization of weed, according to the SQDC's report for the second quarter of 2021. It doesn't matter if you identify as francophone or anglophone — there is a clear love among many Quebecers for this style of joie de vivre.
According to a press release, the SQDC earned a net income of $19 million in the quarter ending September 11 — a $3.9 million increase from the same quarter last year. The SQDC credits these results to its main goal: running illegal weed dealers out of business. It says it has invested time and energy in making sure Quebecers who indulge in cannabis get the best product available.
The SQDC had a grand total of $142 million in sales, up $21.8 million from the previous quarter, with $67.4 million set to be transferred to the provincial and federal governments.
The reported results suggest the SQDC has done pretty well in gaining customer trust: the agency has grown from 45 to 77 stores in Quebec over the past year and crossed the 1,000-employee threshold.
The quantities are significant this quarter, too: the organization sold nearly 25,000 kilograms of cannabis in its stores and almost 1,300 kilograms online, with an average sales price of $6.32 per gram, including tax.
Despite their impressive sales, the SQDC's focus remains on protecting cannabis users' health and converting consumers to the legal market, not encouraging cannabis use. The government corporation tries its best to accommodate Quebecers' interest in cannabis, seeking to give them the best product while helping them reduce health risks.
In other words, the SQDC's angle is that it's using its business for good — hoping that people will take its resources and information to heart.
According to new data published by the Institut de la statistique du Québec, Quebec recorded a huge decline in marriages in 2020. It was in fact the lowest recorded number of marriages in over 100 years.
Quebecers celebrated around 11,300 marriages in 2020, a number that's "down by half (-49%) compared to 2019, an unprecedented drop in Quebec," the Institut wrote in a press release.
This is the fewest marriages in the province since 1903, according to the data.
The decline is attributed to the COVID-19 pandemic and government restrictions.
The decline was "particularly significant" in summer 2020, with a drop of "around 70% compared to the average for 2015 to 2019."
According to the figures, "the decrease was greater among couples made up of two spouses born in Canada (-60%), while it appears less marked among couples in which both spouses were born abroad (-25%) or those in which one of the spouses was born abroad (-32%)."
During the first months of 2021, the Institute reports that the number of marriages in Quebec remains "below average."
Canada's statistical agency released the data on June 16 to create a "portrait" of the "demographic and social profile of Canada's diverse LGBTQ2+ communities" — however, much of the data "[focuses] on LGB Canadians (lesbian, gay, bisexual), since Statistics Canada has been collecting detailed information on these communities since 2003."
There were 72,880 same-sex couples in Canada in 2016, making up 0.9% of all couples in Canada.
StatsCan said half of those same-sex couples lived in the major cities of Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver and Ottawa–Gatineau.
Between 2006 and 2016, the number of same-sex couples in Canada increased by 60.7%, compared to an increase of 9.6% in "opposite-sex" couples.
StatsCan said the increase "may be reflective, at least in part, of growing awareness and acceptance of sexual diversity in Canada."
LGBTQ2S+ hate crimes are on the rise in Canada
According to StatsCan's 2018 survey, LGB+ Canadians were both more likely to report being "violently victimized" throughout their lives and more likely to have experienced "inappropriate behaviours in public and online" than non-queer Canadians.
In 2018, LGB+ Canadians were "twice as likely" as non-queer Canadians "to report experiencing inappropriate behaviours" in the 12 months prior to the survey:
in public: 57% versus 22% of non-queer Canadians
online: 37% versus 15% of non-queer Canadians
at work: 44% versus 22% of non-queer Canadians.
Violent hate crimes against LGB+ Canadians were on par with violent racially-charged hate crimes in 2018.
Of hate crimes that targeted sexual orientation, 53% were violent crimes.
In comparison, 27% of hate crimes targeting religion and 52% of hate crimes targeting race or ethnicity were violent crimes, according to the data.
Further, according to StatsCan's 2018 survey, transgender Canadians were also more likely to report poorer mental health than cisgender Canadians.
They were also more likely to have "seriously contemplated suicide in their lifetimes."
Transgender Canadians were additionally more likely "to have been diagnosed with a mood or anxiety disorder" than cisgender Canadians.
The pandemic might have had a bigger effect on LGBTQ2S+ Canadians
StatsCan said that the LGBTQ2S+ population could have been "disproportionately affected" by job loss during the pandemic since a greater share of the communities' populations are between the ages of 15 and 24 — an age group whose employment levels "remains furthest from February 2020 levels."
LGBTQ2S+ Canadians also made less than their non-queer counterparts overall.
In 2018, 41% of LGBTQ2S+ Canadians "had a total personal income of less than $20,000" yearly, compared to 26% of non-queer Canadians.
In the same year, on average, queer income-earners in Canada made about 72% — $39,000 — of the average income of non-queer Canadians, at $54,000.
However, StatsCan noted that the income difference could partly be due to the large youth population in LGBTQ2S+ communities. Being enrolled in high school, CEGEPs or universities could reduce their potential income, the agency said.
In 2018, 33% of LGBTQ2S+ Canadians "found it difficult or very difficult to meet their needs in terms of transportation, housing, food, clothing, participation in some social activities and other necessary expenses," compared with just 27% of non-queer Canadians, according to StatsCan.
As Quebec's new COVID-19 cases continue to decline and with the rules on gatherings, restaurants, gyms — and more — changing quickly, MTL Blog went through your DMs and answered your questions about what it means to be at a "Level 2–Early Warning (yellow)" alert level.
Can I go to a terrasse with people from different households?
As of Monday, people from two different addresses can sit together at a single table at an outdoor restaurant or bar terrasse.
That means if you're a group of eight people from four different addresses, you'll have to sit at two separate tables.
But as long as you keep it to two households, the number of people doesn't matter.
What are the differences between orange and yellow zone rules?
There are lots of differences between both alert levels, but primarily, yellow and green zones allow for larger gatherings than red and orange zones.
Until Monday, restaurants are only permitted to seat a maximum of two people from different addresses at a single restaurant table, but occupants of the same household can sit together, no matter how many they are.
In yellow zones, an unlimited number of people can be seated at a table, as long as they make up two households.
While places of worship in orange zones are limited to 100 people, the limit is upped to 250 people in yellow zones.
Weddings and funerals in places of worship in orange zones are limited to 25 people. In yellow zones, the allowance is increased to 50 people.
Do we still have to wear masks?
Yes, in most cases.
You do not have to wear masks in most outdoor settings where you can practice social distancing, or when you're eating or drinking at your table in a restaurant or bar.
When gathering indoors in private homes located in yellow zones, masks and social distancing are still required.
Masks have to be worn in movie theatres until you are seated in the theatre. Only then can you remove your mask, provided you remain silent.
Masks must also be worn in auditoriums, but may be removed once the person is seated.
Wearing a face covering is mandatory for spectators of indoor sports aged 10 and over, except in facilities where seats are assigned in advance.
According to Éconofitness, in yellow zone gyms, wearing a mask is mandatory to circulate within the gym and when 2-metre social distancing is not possible, such as in the free weights section.
They're not mandatory when you can social distance — but it's recommended that you wear a mask for better protection.
When will clubs be open?
Bars are permitted to reopen their indoor spaces on Monday, and a club is a type of bar.
However, you will have to remain seated at all times — no dancing or singing is permitted at this time.
Occupants two households can be seated at the same table, regardless of the number of people.
For the time being, bars will close at midnight and stop serving alcohol at 11 p.m.
Are there any updates on interprovincial travel?
In yellow zones, travel between regions and cities is still not recommended, but it is possible.
The Quebec and Ontario border is still closed and it's currently prohibited for someone from Ontario to be in Quebec or vice-versa. However, there are exceptions.
How many guests are allowed at weddings, and can they dance?
A maximum of 50 guests is permitted at weddings in places of worship in yellow zones.
The government doesn't specify whether singing or dancing is not permitted.
While singing and dancing are not currently permitted at bars, Quebec is allowing high school graduates to dance without masks at their proms.
What are the rules on indoor gatherings in homes?
Indoor gatherings are allowed! But they are limited to people from a maximum of two households.
Masks must be worn at all times and you also have to practice 2-metre social distancing.
What are the gym restrictions in yellow zones?
In yellow zone gyms, training activities carried out by yourself, in pairs or by members of two households are permitted.
Training at close proximity is not permitted, except among members of the same household.
Gyms have to keep a sign-in record, and they have to publicly post the maximum capacity of the gym.
At Éconofitness, you are not required to wear a mask while exercising, so long as you can practice social distancing — but it's recommended for further protection.
Some gyms are requiring booking your workout session online before attending so they can ensure the maximum capacity of the space is respected.
Gym locker rooms can open as of Monday.
When could Montreal become a green zone?
The government of Quebec has laid out a reopening plan with the goal of lifting almost all COVID-19 restrictions by the end of August if 75% of those aged 12 and older are fully vaccinated.
According to the plan, most Quebec regions should be green zones by June 28.
In green zones, there are larger occupancy limits for indoor spaces — but some limits don't change between yellow and green zones, such as weddings and funerals.
This article's cover photo was used for illustrative purposes only.