Select committee of legislature to examine issues related to cannabis legalization in N.B.
The provincial government introduced a motion in the legislative assembly Friday to establish a select committee of the legislative assembly to study issues related to cannabis legalization.
“Your government has been working since 2015 in preparation for federal legislation on cannabis legalization, which was recently tabled in the House of Commons,” said Health Minister Victor Boudreau. “This select committee will provide us the opportunity to listen to the concerns of New Brunswickers on important policy implications as we move towards legalization in June or July of 2018.”
The committee will be comprised of government members and official opposition members and will be charged with examining such issues as a legal age for possession of cannabis, the maximum legal amount of possession and policies on growing cannabis plants on private property. A discussion guide will be developed, as well.
The members of the committee are: Kent South MLA Benoît Bourque; Restigouche West MLA Gilles Lepage; Victoria-la Vallée MLA Chuck Chiasson; Moncton East MLA Monique Leblanc; Carleton-victoria MLA Andrew Harvey; Gagetown-petitcodiac MLA Ross Wetmore; Edmundston-madawaska Centre MLA Madeleine Dubé; and Fredericton-grand Lake MLA Pam Lynch.
Boudreau noted there would be both opportunities and challenges stemming from the federal government’s commitment to cannabis legalization.
“We remain focused on developing a proper balance, by addressing health and public safety concerns and ensuring the well-being of our families,” he said. “I look forward to the findings of the committee.”
The committee will prepare and table a report of its work in the legislative assembly.
Last year, the Smoke-free Places Act was amended to broaden the definition of smoke to include any substance that can be smoked, vaped or inhaled, including marijuana. In March, a working group comprised of senior officials from three departments and two Crown corporations was created to provide recommendations to the provincial government on a model for the distribution and sale of cannabis.