Provincial working group on pot legalization to provide recommendations this fall

New Brunswick's health minister says a provincial working group looking at marijuana legalization will provide recommendations to government this fall.

Victor Boudreau said Tuesday the working group will offer recommendations and direction on several key decisions that will need to be made.

That includes the minimum age to legally possess marijuana, which model for wholesale distribution and retail of cannabis is best, and what other restrictions should be imposed in addition to those at the federal level.

The working group – made up of senior officials from the departments of Justice and Public Safety, Health and Finance, as well as NB Liquor and Opportunities NB – will release an interim report this summer.

By September, members will report to government with recommendations for a distribution and retail model.

They will also provide an interim report on the other items, with recommendations to follow once federal direction is clear.

Officials say the working group will consult with colleagues in other provinces and engage with federal officials as part of the process.

A federal task force report released in December recommends pot not be available where alcohol or tobacco are sold, that there be personal growing limits of four plants per person, and that it not be sold to anyone under the age of 18.

But the report also allows individual provinces and territories to decide on a higher age if they want to.

The New Brunswick government also said Tuesday that it will introduce a motion in the legislature to establish a select committee of the legislative assembly to study the legalization of marijuana.