Forum held in Cape Breton to answer questions about marijuana legalization
Published Thursday, November 2, 2017 8:40PM ADT
We already know a lot about how and where legalized marijuana will be sold in New Brunswick and to whom, but in Nova Scotia, none of those questions has been answered.
That lack of information was the topic of discussion at a cannabis forum in Cape Breton on Thursday.
Logging business owner John Gatza is hoping to open a small production facility. He was one of several businessmen attending the conference at the Membertou Trade and Convention Centre.
“Looking forward to see if the rules are going to change to allow smaller companies to get involved in the cannabis business,” says Gatza. “Right now it's very rigorous and expensive to get involved. It puts small businesses out of the picture.”
Cape Breton Partnership CEO Keith MacDonald hopes the forum starts a dialogue of the overall impact of marijuana legalization.
“Certainly there's much more information to come out about the industry and how it's going to be regulated and rolled out,” says MacDonald.
New Brunswick and Ontario are so far the only two provinces to decide to sell cannabis through their liquor commissions. Others are still in consultation to see what fits best, including Nova Scotia.
“They're addressing specific issues like edibles because this is an important one because of the safety aspects associated with it,” says Global Public Affairs vice-chair Darrell Dexter.
The Trudeau government announced legislation earlier this year that will legalize marijuana in Canada by July 1, 2018. New Brunswick is setting 19 as the minimum legal age for cannabis use, with other provinces expected to follow suit.
A tender was recently issued for 20 retail locations across New Brunswick.
Gatza is hoping the Nova Scotia government will soon clear the air.
“There's so much opportunity to grow in the business and it could lead into something else, something bigger, more employees, you never know,” Gatza says.
With files from CTV Atlantic’s Kyle Moore.