Mixed feelings for Maritimers over delay of cannabis legalization
Published Saturday, February 17, 2018 7:01PM AST
It was officially announced earlier this week that Canadians waiting for the legalization of recreational-marijuana will have to wait longer than July 1.
The Canadian Senate is scheduled to vote in June on the legalization of recreational marijuana, but the federal government says the exact date of legalization is somewhat hazier.
Federal Health Minister Ginette Petipas-Taylor says provincial governments will need between eight to 12 weeks after the senate vote to prepare for the legal retail of recreational marijuana, making August the earliest for a legal roll out.
Organigram chief commercial officer Ray Gracewood says the Moncton based cannabis producer could use the extra time.
“If we're working toward the summer or fall of 2018, we're more than happy with that,” says Gracewood. “It allows us more preparation time, it allows us more time to build up on inventories and at the end of the day if it was four weeks, eight weeks, to us it’s a blip on the radar when you look at the overall opportunity.”
New Brunswick Tory MLA Ross Wetmore says he’s hoping for a delay that could run longer into 2019.
“Eight weeks is not going to make a big difference, and when we talk to the Canadian police association and municipalities, I don’t think they'll think eightweek extension will be enough time to get everything in place,” says Wetmore.
At the same time, Wetmore says he’s wondering about the financial impact of crown corporation stores that won't be opening at the expected time.
“There are all kinds of expenses that are going to be brought forward to this crown corporation because of the legalization date being pushed back.”
When legalization will take place is still undetermined, but it will be the same date nationwide.
With files from CTV Atlantic’s Nick Moore.