Client Update: New Brunswick introduces Cannabis Control Act
New Brunswick’s proposed cannabis regulatory scheme has been introduced. An initial press release was followed by the introduction of amendments to the New Brunswick Liquor Control Act, and the Motor Vehicle Act as well as three new bills on November 9, 2017:
- Bill 16- the Cannabis Control Act;
- Bill 17- the Cannabis Management Corporation Act; and,
- Bill 18- the Cannabis Education and Awareness Fund Act.
THE CANNABIS MANAGEMENT CORPORATION
As background, on October 25, 2017, the Government of New Brunswick announced that NB Liquor would operate recreational cannabis retail locations in the province, through a subsidiary. The amendments to the New Brunswick Liquor Control Act extend NB Liquor’s mandate to include cannabis and permits it to have a subsidiary responsible for cannabis.
The Cannabis Management Corporation Act establishes the crown corporation responsible for cannabis in New Brunswick. The objects of the corporation are to:
- undertake, implement, organize, conduct and manage the purchase, distribution and sale of recreational cannabis on behalf of the government;
- ensure the purchase, distribution, and sale of recreational use cannabis are conducted and managed in secure, responsible retail outlets in accordance with pertinent legislation; and,
- promote the responsible consumption of recreational use cannabis.
The Cannabis Management Corporation will also establish policies on responsible consumption of recreational use cannabis and undertake initiatives for public education. In addition, the Cannabis Management Corporation will be responsible for regulating various aspects of the recreational cannabis industry such as:
- prescribing products for distribution and sale;
- arranging agreements with service providers; and,
- establishing an end-to-end tracking system for cannabis purchase and sale.
THE CANNABIS EDUCATION AND AWARENESS FUND
The Cannabis Education and Awareness Fund Act establishes a fund from the revenues of the Cannabis Management Corporation which will be used for education and awareness programs concerning prevention of cannabis abuse, responsible use, and strategies to reduce adverse health effects of cannabis use. The fund will also sponsor research on cannabis, and implement responsible use policies.
THE CANNABIS CONTROL ACT
What it does
The Cannabis Control Act (the “CCA”) will govern the use of recreational cannabis in New Brunswick. It sets the minimum legal age for buying cannabis at 19 years of age, restricts young people’s access to cannabis, sets criteria for the possession and use of cannabis, and establishes penalties for drug-impaired driving.
How it affects medical cannabis users
The CCA does not apply to medical use cannabis, with two exceptions:
- neither recreational nor medical use cannabis shall be consumed in a vehicle on a highway, roadway or off-road vehicle trail; and,
- neither recreational nor medical use cannabis shall be smoked in a place where smoking is prohibited under the Smoke-free Places Act.
Under the CCA, persons under age 19 are prohibited from:
- possessing or consuming cannabis in any form;
- entering, or attempting to enter, cannabis retail stores, even when accompanied by an adult;
- cultivating cannabis;accepting delivery or gifts of cannabis; and,
- purchasing or attempting to purchase:
• cannabis in any form
• cannabis-smoking or -vaping supplies; or,
• cannabis plant-starter material.
The CCA requires that cannabis stored in a private home would have to be in a locked container or a locked room to ensure it is kept from minors.
The CCA also includes requirements to secure cannabis when it is being grown on private property, either by cultivating in a separate, locked space (indoors) or by surrounding the plants with a 1.52 meter fence (outdoors).
Under the CCA, consumption of recreational cannabis will not be permitted in public places.
The CCA prohibits the consumption or use of recreational and medical use cannabis in a vehicle on a highway, roadway, or off-road vehicle trail, whether or not the vehicle is in motion. Amendments to the Motor Vehicle Act would establish a drug-impaired driving program. Proposed sanctions include:
- immediate short-term roadside suspensions;
- an administrative licence suspension program for those charged with or convicted of drug-impaired driving;
- discretionary and mandatory vehicle impoundment for short-term and administrative licence suspensions;
- participation in a re-education course for drug-impaired drivers;
- licence reinstatement fees for drug-impaired drivers; and,
- zero tolerance for novice drivers and those under 21 years of age.
Distribution and delivery
The CCA exclusively authorizes the Cannabis Management Corporation to oversee the distribution of recreational cannabis in the province. The corporation is authorized to enter into agreements for the implementation, organization, purchase, distribution and sale of recreational cannabis. The CCA authorizes the corporation to enter into agreements with common carriers to transport and deliver cannabis and cannabis accessories on its behalf. Only a service provider who is authorized by an agreement with this corporation may display or promote cannabis.
Level Chan and Dante Manna On March 12, 2019, the Nova Scotia legislature introduced long anticipated amendments to the Pension Benefits Act (“PBA”) which, according to a statement by Finance Minister Karen Casey, are aimed…Read More
Julia Parent and Graham Haynes In the long-awaited decision in the case of Orphan Well Association v Grant Thornton Ltd, the Supreme Court of Canada held that end-of-life environmental cleanup obligations imposed by Alberta’s provincial…Read More
Michelle Chai & Jennifer Taylor Justice Ann Smith of the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia recently dismissed an action against a disability insurer for being out of time. The case, Richards Estate v Industrial Alliance…Read More
Chad Sullivan and Bryan Mills New Brunswick has recently introduced a new regulation under the Occupational Health and Safety Act on the topic of problematic workplace conduct. The change will bring New Brunswick in line…Read More
Jennifer Taylor In an important decision for the auto insurance industry, the Nova Scotia Court of Appeal has confirmed that future CPP disability benefits are indeed deductible from damages awarded in Nova Scotia cases for…Read More
Brian Johnston, QC and Matthew Jacobs Bill C-86, enacted as SC 2018, c. 27, will effect massive changes upon how federal labour and employment relations are regulated. They come into effect in 2019 with staggered…Read More
We can all make 2019 a success by building on the year that was. For employers, 2018 was a year of many notable developments in labour and employment law across the country. We saw Ontario…Read More
Level Chan and Dante Manna As 2018 comes to an end, we countdown some pension and employee benefits developments in the last year that we anticipate may lead to developments in 2019. Discrimination in benefits…Read More
Kevin Landry The first look at regulations for cannabis edibles, extracts and topicals has arrived. The Federal Government has opened a 60-day consultation period respecting the strict regulation of additional cannabis products. Notice of the consultation was accompanied…Read More