N.B. doctors want liquor stores cut out of selling marijuana
Published Friday, June 9, 2017 7:47PM ADT
Last Updated Friday, June 9, 2017 7:48PM ADT
Doctors in New Brunswick are weighing in on the legalization of marijuana, saying the substance shouldn't be sold in liquor stores or to people under 21.
The New Brunswick Medical Society has released 14 recommendations on the legalization of recreational pot, asking government to consider everything from how they talk about marijuana to where it should be sold.
Doctors believe declining to have a sale on marijuana is something both the society and pharmacies can agree on.
“If they find they’re not making money, there's no such thing as saying we're going to increase the price, because that's not going to happen,” says Hank Merchant, owner of HBB Medical Inc. “You increase the price and now what you're going to do is you're going to turn all the medical marijuana and recreational right back to the street.”
HBB Medical is a distributor of medical marijuana and has made efforts to keep packaging simple and sealed tight. Doctors believe pot should be subject to the same marketing bans and package initiatives as tobacco.
NB Liquor refused requests for an on camera interview, but a spokesperson did tell CTV News it's a bit "premature" for the crown corporation to go into details on what a retail model would look like in the province.
But NB Liquor's CEO has said if NB Liquor was chosen as the distributor, marijuana would not be sold in existing stores with alcohol. It would be sold in separate dispensaries.
Doctors feel it should be a brand new crown corporation that's not out to make a profit.
Government says public input will be gathered over the summer.
“It's important to get that feedback, and it will certainly all be taken into consideration when it comes time to make the final decisions,” says New Brunswick Health Minister Victor Boudreau.
Boudreau says government is getting ready to release a document on this in the next few weeks.
With files from CTV Atlantic’s Laura Brown.