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.
Health Group, Christopher Goodridge, Matthew Jacobs The Ontario Court of Appeal confirmed in a decision released on May 15, 2019 that doctors must provide an ‘effective referral’ where they are unwilling to provide care on…Read More
Level Chan and Dante Manna The Province of Nova Scotia is soliciting stakeholder input on significant regulatory changes to the Pension Benefits Act (“PBA”) and Pension Benefits Regulations (“PBR”). The solicitation is accompanied by a…Read More
Andrea Shakespeare, Kevin Landry, Divya Subramanian and Matthew Jacobs The main asset of innovation is Intellectual Property. Applicants looking to participate in the Innovation Superclusters Initiative must be vigilant of their Intellectual Property. This article…Read More
Kevin Landry Health Canada has announced changes to the cannabis licensing regime. These changes come ahead of the release of the cannabis edibles, extracts, and topicals amendments to the Cannabis Regulations expected to be released…Read More
Grant Machum Last week’s Nova Scotia Court of Appeal’s decision in Halifax Herald Limited v. Clarke, 2019 NSCA 31, is good news for employers. The Court overturned the trial judge’s determinations that an employee had…Read More
Rick Dunlop On April 24, 2019, the Nova Scotia Government created the Trade Union Act General Regulations so that the Labour Board will no longer consider a Saturday, Sunday, or holiday as the date of…Read More
Rodney Zdebiak and Anthony Granville On Monday, April 15, 2019, the Newfoundland and Labrador legislature passed a number of changes to the Automobile Insurance Act (“Act”) stating that the intent is to help stabilize insurance rates,…Read More
Andrea Shakespeare, Kevin Landry and Matthew Jacobs The Canadian government has placed itself in the “global innovation race”. In response to the demands for innovation, the Canadian government has established the Innovation Superclusters Initiative which…Read More
Andrea Shakespeare, Kevin Landry and Matthew Jacobs Canada’s Ocean Supercluster is a co-investment initiative between Canada’s federal government and the private sector that is part of the Innovation Superclusters Initiative. As we wrote about in…Read More
Andrea Shakespeare, Kevin Landry and Matthew Jacobs As we discuss in our article, No compass needed – Ocean Supercluster activities explained, there are many ways to participate in the Ocean Supercluster and the Innovation Superclusters…Read More