The New Brunswick government has introduced the legislative framework for recreational cannabis which includes where it will be sold and who can purchase and possess the soon-to-be-legal drug.
They caution, though, that even with an act to create an education and awareness fund, the province says they are unsure of what operations will cost and whether or not any profits will be seen from sales.
The legislation adds three new acts: Cannabis Management Corporation Act, Cannabis Control Act and the Cannabis Education and Awareness Fund Act while amending the Motor Vehicle Act and NB Liquor Corporation Act.
The amendments establish a drug-impaired driving program and allow New Brunswick’s alcohol distribution company to handle the sale of recreational cannabis while the new acts outline who will be allowed to purchase the drug, how much they can possess and where it can be bought among other specifics.
“We want the proceeds out of the hands of criminals as much as possible and we want the product out of the hands of children and youth,” explained Finance Minister Cathy Rogers.
The province has made it clear they intend to make sure the safety of residents isn’t compromised by recreational cannabis becoming legal.
They’ve now announced their intention to set up an awareness and education fund to inform residents of the dangers of marijuana use particularly for youth.
While they say taking the proceeds from criminals so it can be instead used for programs which help citizens, they stop short of offering up a ballpark figure for revenue estimates.
“We want the proceeds out of the hands of criminals as much as possible,” said Rogers.
“There’s really not much upfront investment for the province,” she said. “The cost will come from the revenue.”
Even without anticipating a windfall from cannabis sales, Rogers says their goals will continue to remain the same, pushing education and awareness rather than advertising.
“Marketing is not part of the discussion at all,” she said. “We are very focused on education and awareness, on social responsibility, on making sure that we have a safe, secure supply and that we have the best retail model for distribution that ensures our goals are met to keep this away from children and youth.”
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