Liberal Government Takes First Steps to Legalize Cannabis in Newfoundland and Labrador

Liberal Government Takes First Steps to Legalize Cannabis in Newfoundland and Labrador

Today, your Liberal Government took the first steps in fulfilling the federal commitment to legalize cannabis in the province.

Bill 23: An Act to Amend the Liquor Corporation Act was introduced in the House of Assembly, which gives the Newfoundland Liquor Corporation(NLC) the legislative authority to implement retail and distribution models in time for the federal July 2018 deadline.

However, this Bill does not legalize cannabis in the province, it sets up the framework for the NLC to be ready when the federal government legalizes cannabis, and to ensure that the best practices are in place for NL.

What will be the minimum age someone can purchase cannabis?

The minimum age to purchase cannabis will be set as 19. This is consistent with the age designated for the purchase of alcohol, In this province, 19-year-olds are considered adults, based on the Age of Majority Act.

Who will sell cannabis?

The regulator for cannabis in the province will be the NLC, meaning the NLC will have the same regulatory powers as it has with the sale of alcohol in the province. However, this does not mean that cannabis will be solely sold at NLC outlets. In fact, the policy model to be adopted will be to discourage cannabis and alcohol being sold at the same location.

What are Newfoundland and Labrador’s objectives in legalizing cannabis?

• To discourage use of cannabis by youth, and encourage responsibility among those adults who choose to use it;
• To reduce the burden on our criminal justice system;
• To promote safety on our roads, in public places, and in our workplaces; and
• To keep the profits from the sale of cannabis out of the hands of criminals.

The work in legalizing cannabis is ongoing, and the province will continue to work with our federal and provincial counterparts, as well as our own in-house expertise, to determine the best model for our province.