New Brunswick task force backs government-run marijuana stores

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A New Brunswick legislative panel is recommending that recreational marijuana be sold through government-run stores to people at least 19 years old, a move that would limit opportunities for cannabis entrepreneurs interested in retail opportunities.

The Select Committee on Cannabis – composed of provincial lawmakers from both sides of the political aisle – sought public input during meetings held across New Brunswick in July. It heard testimony from business and MJ industry executives, health advocates, union representatives, municipal officials and others.

The task force said a majority of those testifying supported cannabis sales through a provincial-run distributor “to restrict youth access to recreational cannabis and ensure prices can compete with the illegal market.”

While favoring a government-run distribution model, many participants also said private retailers would provide more economic benefits than a provincial-operated monopoly.

The panel also found the public supported the province’s plan to make marijuana a pillar of its economic strategy.

The report – an overview of the task force’s public consultations – will be sent to provincial legislators, who will weigh it while drafting regulations this fall ahead of recreational marijuana legalization, which is expected next July.

The task force also recommended that the provincial government:

  • Allow landlords to ban the cultivation of adult-use marijuana.
  • Follow the federal government’s cap of four homegrown plants per household.
  • Endorse the federal government’s 30-gram limit on the amount of recreational cannabis an adult can possess outside the home.

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