FREDERICTON (GNB) – The provincial government’s legislative framework for recreational-use cannabis was introduced today in anticipation of the federal government legalizing such use by July 2018.

The framework includes three new acts and amendments to two existing acts.

“We are committed to ensuring the legalization of recreational-use cannabis is introduced in a safe and secure way,” said Justice and Public Safety Minister Denis Landry. “The legislation introduced today largely reflects the recommendations of the New Brunswick Working Group on the Legalization of Cannabis.”

“Our number one priority is ensuring that vulnerable people are protected and cannabis is out of the hands of youth and criminals,” said Health Minister Benoît Bourque. “This proposed legislation puts reasonable measures in place to protect our province’s youth while ensuring it is used responsibly by adults.”

“This model is the best option to ensure the New Brunswick market has access to a safe, secure and socially responsible retail environment,” said Finance Minister Cathy Rogers. “We are now in full implementation mode as we prepare for the July 2018 deadline and the legalization of recreational cannabis.”

Following is a summary of the legislation introduced:

  • A new Cannabis Management Corporation Act would establish in legislation the Cannabis Management Corporation, a Crown corporation charged with the oversight, organization, conduct, management and control of retail sales of recreational-use cannabis. Measures included in this act would dissolve the numbered company that was incorporated in September to fulfil this role. The act transitions all of the numbered company’s roles and responsibilities to the Cannabis Management Corporation.
  • A new Cannabis Control Act would control the consumption and use of recreational cannabis. It would establish the legal age for the purchase, consumption and cultivation of recreational cannabis at 19 and outline general restrictions on consumption and possession.
  • A new Cannabis Education and Awareness Fund Act would establish a fund to support research and the development, implementation and delivery of education and awareness programs for harm reduction and the responsible use of cannabis for recreational purposes.
  • Amendments to the Motor Vehicle Act would establish a drug-impaired driving program.

In addition to the legislative framework introduced today, the Department of Health will work with the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development to determine the most effective ways to expand existing programming related to the effects of drugs, including cannabis.