FREDERICTON -- The New Brunswick government is setting 19 as the minimum legal age for cannabis use.

Health Minister Benoit Bourque said Wednesday it's the right age to make an informed decision, and matches the province's minimum age for alcohol use.

He said other provinces are also aligning ages on marijuana and alcohol use.

Public Safety Minister Denis Landry says setting the age at 19 will help to achieve the goal of keeping marijuana out of the hands of criminals and youth.

The federal government plans to legalize recreational cannabis by July 2018.

In September, Ontario announced it plans to set the minimum age at 19 and sell cannabis through government-run outlets.

Last month, Alberta proposed to make 18 the minimum age to use marijuana, with no decision yet on whether to sell cannabis through government-run stores or through private operators.

The Nova Scotia government is seeking feedback on a legal age of 19 for marijuana use, with sales through a Crown corporation like the Nova Scotia Liquor Corporation.

Last week, the New Brunswick government announced that a subsidiary of NB Liquor will operate retail stores and online sales of recreational cannabis.

Shoppers will have their identification checked at the door and all products will be kept under glass.

A tender was recently issued for 20 retail locations in 15 communities across the province.