March 9, 2016 6:49 pm

NB Liquor stores not best option for marijuana dispensaries, say stakeholders

WATCH ABOVE: The president and CEO of the New Brunswick Liquor Corporation says they’re working with other jurisdictions and gaining insight into what the rest of the country thinks about marijuana legalization, including the possibility of NB Liquor stores becoming dispensaries. Jeremy Keefe reports.


As the federal government works toward legalizing marijuana, some in the industry are suggesting there’s one place it shouldn’t be sold in New Brunswick — at liquor stores.

Denis Arsenault is a marijuana grower with Organigram who believes the government should move forward with procedures that are already in place.

“Right now under the medical marijuana regime, we can direct ship via mail to the customers and we would hope in the recreational model that that would remain in place,” he said.

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“We are a very large country. It’s not easy to get a retail point in every corner of the country, and if we permit the customers to continue to do mail order with an age verification component I think the market would be well served.”

READ MORE: London Drugs, other major retailers look into selling medical marijuana

Arsenault pointed to areas in the United States where marijuana is legal and said there “are no instances where alcohol and marijuana are sold on the same premises.”

New Brunswick Liquor Corporation CEO Brian Herriman says they are working to figure things out, although it’s still early in the process. As the chair of the Canadian Association of Liquor Jurisdictions, he says meetings have been held to discuss what legal marijuana could mean for liquor stores across the country.

“These meetings are focused on understanding the potential impacts of federal legalization,” he said in a statement. “It should also be noted that the potential legalization of marijuana will impact many government departments in New Brunswick, with Public Safety being the lead, and not just [NB Liquor].”

As prescribed marijuana use continues to become more prevalent, medical professionals also want their say.

New Brunswick Pharmacists’ Association CEO Paul Blanchard says that the majority of residents take some form of prescription medication and that they should always be consulted before prescriptions for the drug are written.

“Where physicians are prescribing a product, a medication for treatment, the best place for that medication to be is in a pharmacy,” he said. “Marijuana will interact with certain other medications, some more seriously than others, so it’s important that pharmacists have that opportunity to counsel patients who are using marijuana for medicinal purposes.”

© 2016 Shaw Media

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