Alexandre Silberman
Alexandre Silberman
Alexandre Silberman is a second year student at St. Thomas University, studying digital journalism and new media, political science and communications. Alexandre is originally from Burlington, Vermont, where he has worked for VTDigger.org, a statewide, non-profit news and politics website, and the Burlington Free Press, the region's largest daily newspaper. In April 2017, he was named a finalist for a Mark of Excellence Award from the Society of Professional Journalists, for a story on allegations of a harmful work environment for high school counselors. Outside of the newsroom, you can likely find Alexandre on the ski slopes or enjoying the outdoors.
October 22, 2018

What you need to know about cannabis legalization in New Brunswick

Cannabis is legal across Canada starting on Wednesday, Oct. 17, 2018. | Photo: Cameron Lane

Canadians will be able to legally light up tomorrow after years of debate.

But the cannabis legislation passed by the Senate in June comes with many restrictions, including where you can consume and purchase the substance, the types available and the amount you can possess.

Cannabis, also known as marijuana, is a psychoactive drug from a plant. It is commonly used for medical or recreational purposes. The legalization of cannabis doesn’t affect how medical patients access the product.

Here’s what you need to know about the new policy in New Brunswick:

What is the new federal law?

The federal Cannabis Act, Bill C-45, allows Canadians over the legal age in each province to purchase and use certain products. Adults will be able to buy fresh or dried cannabis, oil, seeds and plants.

Who can consume? And where?

In New Brunswick, the legal age to purchase, consume, possess or cultivate cannabis is 19. Individuals must be of legal age to enter a Cannabis NB store or make an online purchase.

The provincial legalization framework prohibits consumption of cannabis anywhere but a private residence or on adjacent land. Cannabis may also be consumed in the home of a friend or family member with their permission.

Adults may have up to 30 grams of dried cannabis or the equivalent in their possession when outside their home.

Brian Harriman, president and CEO of Cannabis NB, speaks at a news conference in Fredericton on Monday, Oct. 15. | Photo: Cameron Lane

Landlords are able to restrict tenants from growing cannabis plants. If smoking is prohibited, cannabis cannot be smoked. However, if smoking is allowed, tenants can smoke cannabis. Landlords are not allowed to restrict the consumption of cannabis in other ways or ban other forms of consumption.

New Brunswickers can grow up to four plants at their primary residence for personal use. Plants must be in locked spaces, both indoors and outdoors, and plants or seedlings must be purchased from a provincial store.

Cannabis must be secured at home and inaccessible to minors.

A page on the Cannabis NB website provides information on how to roll a cannabis joint. New Brunswickers 19 and older can purchase cannabis online and in 20 stores across the province starting Wednesday, Oct. 17. | Screenshot

Where can cannabis be purchased?

On Wednesday, sales will begin through Cannabis NB, the only legal place to buy cannabis in the province. Twenty stores will be open across the province and online sales with delivery will be available. Some 250 different products will be carried at Cannabis NB stores, and prices will range from $8 a gram to $16 a gram.

Only dried bud and oil will be available during the first phase of legalization, according to Brian Harriman, president and CEO of Cannabis NB.

Federal regulations haven't yet been finalized to provide for the sale of edibles, although those rules are expected to be implemented by next October.

All dispensaries are illegal in New Brunswick, and purchasing cannabis from a website other than Cannabis NB is also illegal.

Fredericton has two stores, one located on the north side and one on the south side.

Cannabis is legal across Canada starting on Wednesday, Oct. 17, 2018. | Photo: Cameron Lane

Can you travel with cannabis?

It is illegal to transport cannabis across national borders. When travelling to other provinces and territories, individuals must respect the policies in those jurisdictions, including minimum age.

What are some of the health risks?

There are short-term and long-term health effects linked to cannabis use, particularly for people under age 25, those with a family history of mental illness, and pregnant and breastfeeding women.

The provincial government has developed a website to provide information to New Brunswickers about the potential risks.

Officials from Health Canada and the provincial government answer questions about cannabis legalization in New Brunswick at a news conference in Fredericton on Monday, Oct. 15. | Photo: Cameron Lane

Cannabis also impairs your ability to drive a car of operate machinery. Experts say the effects of cannabis consumption typically last at least six hours, but can be longer, depending on the person and product. Using cannabis and alcohol further increases impairment and can be dangerous. Driving impaired is against the law in New Brunswick.

Smoking cannabis directs affects your lungs and is the most harmful way of consuming, according to the Canadian Research Initiative in Substance Misuse. The research guidelines also note that other non-smoking options, such as vaping and edibles, are not risk free.

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