Article by Elizabeth Fraser, CBC News
A working group studying how New Brunswick approaches the legalized sale of marijuana is trying to strike a balance between public safety and economic opportunity, the chair says.
The Liberal government’s working group is exploring a range of issues as it awaits further direction from the federal government.
“For the government of New Brunswick, its concern is it wants a balance,” said Mike Comeau, chair of the working group on the legalization of cannabis and also the deputy minister of public safety.
The federal Liberals have said they will introduce legislation by summer to legalize marijuana. A working group reporting to Ottawa late last year suggested leaving most of the regulation with the federal government, but letting the provinces decide a few issues, including the minimum age for possessing the drug.
The provincial group studying the issues is made up of civil servants from Health, Finance, and Justice and Public Safety, as well as officials from the New Brunswick Liquor Corp. and Opportunities NB.
Although the group is essentially in a waiting stage, until the federal bill is introduced, Comeau said he expects it will be up to individual provinces to decide what the retail side will look like, whether to adopt a proposed minimum age of 18, and whether to get involved in any other regulations.