N.B. to introduce legislation around cannabis control, drug-impaired driving

The New Brunswick government says it will introduce legislation this week to set rules for the possession and use of legalized cannabis.

The Cannabis Control Act will set the minimum legal age to buy, possess, consume or cultivate recreational marijuana at 19.

Adults will be allowed to posses up to 30 grams of cannabis, but will not be allowed to smoke it in public places.

Users will also have to store cannabis in a locked container or locked room at home to keep it away from minors.

"We have listened to New Brunswickers and want to protect vulnerable people by getting cannabis out of the hands of criminals and youth and putting reasonable measures in place so that it is used responsibly by adults," said Health Minister Benoît Bourque in a statement.

The new rules were rolled out Tuesday in preparation of Ottawa making recreational marijuana legal in July 2018.

The province is also amending the Motor Vehicle Act to establish penalties for drug-impaired driving that include immediate short-term roadside suspensions and zero tolerance for novice drivers and those under 21 years of age.

"We are focused on ensuring protection for the well-being of families and children. That includes the safety of our streets, roads and highways," said Justice and Public Safety Minister Denis Landry.

Drivers who have their licences suspended could also have their vehicles impounded and have to pay fees to get their licenses back.

The province is also proposing participation in a re-education course for drug-impaired drivers.

— With files from The Canadian Press