Working group on cannabis legalization releases interim report

FREDERICTON (GNB) – A proposed provincial model for the legalization of recreational cannabis was outlined today in an interim report released by a government working group.

“Your government is working to ensure a successful approach to the legalization of recreational cannabis by prioritizing public health and safety concerns while maximizing the economic opportunities presented by this emerging sector,” said Health Minister Victor Boudreau. “We thank the working group on the legalization of cannabis for its work in developing the interim report and providing these proposals and ideas for consideration.”

The working group is made up of senior officials from the departments of Justice and Public Safety, Health and Finance, as well as the New Brunswick Liquor Corporation and Opportunities NB. It was mandated to assess the risks associated with the legalization of cannabis.

The interim report includes recommendations developed by the working group based on its research and consultation with several government departments and agencies, as well as other stakeholders.

The recommendations include:

  • a Crown corporation model to regulate and sell cannabis in the province
  • a legal age of 19 for possession and consumption of cannabis
  • a personal possession limit of 30 grams, consistent with the limit outlined in federal Bill C-45
  • an outline of strategies to reduce harm and risk

The select committee on cannabis, comprised of government members and official opposition members, will hold public consultations this summer using the interim report and its recommendations as a discussion guide. It will hold its first meeting today.

“We want to keep cannabis out of the hands of youth and its proceeds out of the hands of criminals,” said Boudreau. “Striking the right balance of ensuring protections for the well-being of families and children, and addressing health and public safety concerns, is an essential element of the discussion regarding cannabis legalization. We look forward to hearing from New Brunswickers through the consultation process beginning this summer.”

The select committee will table its report in September. The provincial government will take into account the committee’s findings when developing the framework for recreational cannabis this fall.

The working group’s report is available online.

http://www2.gnb.ca/content/gnb/en/news/news_release.2017.06.0890.html