N.B. MLAs to study issues related to cannabis legalization

The New Brunswick government has introduced a motion to establish a select committee of the legislature to study issues related to cannabis legalization.

The committee, made up of eight government and official opposition MLAs, would examine such issues as a legal age for possession of marijuana, the maximum legal amount of possession, and policies on growing cannabis plants on private property.

Health Minister Victor Boudreau says the committee will prepare and table a report of its work in the legislature, but no timeline was given.

Meanwhile, a working group made up of senior officials from three government departments and two Crown corporations will provide recommendations to the province this fall on a model for the distribution and retail of cannabis.

It's expected the provincial working group will release an interim report this summer.

The federal Liberal government has introduced legislation to legalize recreational marijuana by July 2018.

Ottawa is leaving it up to the provinces and territories to prescribe rules for retail environments, including whether marijuana can be sold alongside alcohol, as well as to properly regulate and distribute the drug.