Skip to content

Weeding Through New Brunswick’s Latest Cannabis Recommendations

New Brunswick continues to be a thought leader in the field of regulation of recreational cannabis and provides us with a first look at what the provincial regulation of recreational cannabis might look like. New Brunswick’s working group on the legalization of cannabis has released its interim report containing several recommendations for the regulation of recreational cannabis.

The working group is comprised 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.

Some of the highlights of the working group’s recommendations include:

  • The establishment of a Crown corporation retail model in New Brunswick.
  • The separation of the sale of cannabis and associated products from the sale of liquor.
  • A legal age of 19 for the purchase of cannabis in order to ensure a balance between public health and safety and desire to coordinate with the legal ages already in place for alcohol and tobacco consumption.
  • Distancing the sale of cannabis from areas where youth are likely to be (i.e. schools and playgrounds).
  • A personal possession limit of cannabis of 30 grams.
  • Requirements that cannabis grown for personal use be secure and kept away from children and the public.
  • Amendments to the Motor Vehicle Act to include penalties for impaired driving due to the consumption of cannabis similar to penalties in place for alcohol consumption.

The regulation of cannabis is a difficult and complicated matter involving a balancing of several interests and safety concerns. With the myriad of competing interests, it is virtually impossible to satisfy everyone and the New Brunswick Medical Society has already expressed its disappointment with the recommended legal age of 19. There are studies to suggest that cannabis can be harmful to those under age 25. However, having varying legal ages for different substances also present practical difficulties for training of retail staff and enforcement.

The working group’s report also leaves some questions unanswered at this point, such as restrictions on the labeling and marketing of cannabis and in particular, value-added products such as edibles, such as candy and baked goods, which have the potential to be attractive to youth. Will cannabis be permitted to be marketed and packaged to be attractive to consumers, like alcohol, or will it be relegated to hidden top shelves behind plain or warning-laden packaging, like tobacco products? Time will tell.

Will cannabis be subject to a sin tax? The working group’s report makes no recommendations in this regard, other than to state that New Brunswick will follow the national consensus, whatever that may be. The taxation of cannabis is a complicated and nuanced issue.

In addition to the working group, a select committee of the legislative assembly has also been struck to conduct discussions on the legalization of cannabis and to generate feedback from New Brunswickers. The select committee will hold engagement discussions throughout the summer. Its report is scheduled to be release in September 2017, with the intention that the findings of the select committee will be incorporated into the framework the provincial government will establish through legislation to be implemented in Fall 2017.

The working group report provides an interesting look into how New Brunswick plans to address some of the difficult issues surrounding the legalization of recreational cannabis. With a stated legalization date of July 2018, we can expect to see the other provinces following suit shortly with recommendations and proposed regulatory regimes of their own.

SHARE

Archive

Search Archive


 
 

Trustees beware! New trust reporting and disclosure requirements under the Income Tax Act are here – are you ready for them?

February 21, 2024

By Richard Niedermayer, K.C., TEP  & Rackelle Awad New trust disclosure rules originally announced on February 27, 2018, are now in force, and trusts with taxation years ending on or after December 31, 2023 are…

Read More

Proposed Criminal Interest Rate Regulations: exemptions to the lower criminal interest rate

February 14, 2024

By David Wedlake and Andrew Paul In late December 2023, the Federal Government issued draft Criminal Interest Rate Regulations under the Criminal Code. These proposed regulations follow the Budget Implementation Act, 2023, No. 1 which…

Read More

Outlook for 2024 Proxy Season

February 9, 2024

By Andrew Burke, Colleen Keyes, Gavin Stuttard, David Slipp and Logan Walters With proxy season on the horizon, many public companies are once again preparing their annual disclosure documents and shareholder materials for their annual…

Read More

Significant changes announced for new study permit applications

February 6, 2024

By Brendan Sheridan and Tiegan Scott The Government of Canada recently announced further changes to the international student program that not only limits the number of new study permit applicants per year, but also increases…

Read More

Plans of arrangement come to Newfoundland and Labrador

January 30, 2024

By Tauna Staniland, K.C., ICD.D, Joe Thorne, and Nadine Otten What can you do when your corporation wants to complete a complex transaction requiring significant corporate restructuring that cannot be easily completed under the corporation’s…

Read More

Energy Watch

January 29, 2024

Stewart McKelvey is pleased to present Energy Watch – a review of key legislative and policy advancements in the renewable energy sector in 2023 in each of Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick…

Read More

Beyond the border: A year end immigration wrap-up

December 21, 2023

We are pleased to present Beyond the border: A year end immigration wrap-up. Compiled by Lawyers from our Immigration team, this 2023 update covers topics including the Government of Canada’s ambitious immigration plans for the future;…

Read More

Land use planning in Prince Edward Island – the year in review

December 21, 2023

By Perlene Morrison, K.C., Hilary Newman & Curtis Doyle Once again, the time has come to review the year that was and to chart the course for the year ahead. For municipalities and planning professionals…

Read More

The Offshore Renewable Energy Area: Navigating offshore commitments in Newfoundland and Labrador

December 18, 2023

By Dave Randell, John Samms & Jayna Green A recent Government of Newfoundland and Labrador (“GNL”) announcement affirms the Province’s swift and ambitious approach to offshore wind development. While it may come as a shock…

Read More

Clean sweep: Federal Government tables legislation for Clean Technology Investment Tax Credit

December 15, 2023

By Sadira Jan, Dave Randell, Graham Haynes & Tyler Callahan On November 30, 2023, the Federal Government tabled Bill C-59, entitled An Act to implement certain provisions of the fall economic statement tabled in Parliament…

Read More

Search Archive


Scroll To Top