Nova Scotia Premier Stephen McNeil says the province will be ready to start selling marijuana legally within the time frame set out by the federal government.
On Thursday, Ottawa revealed its long awaited legislation that will make selling and consuming cannabis legal in Canada. While the federal government creates the legal framework, provinces will be tasked with implementing the new rules and enforcing them — including deciding how and where marijuana will be sold.
The federal government set a deadline of having a legal system in place by the end of June 2018.
“We believe we can meet the timeline that is there,” McNeil told Global News on Thursday. “We’ll take what is our responsibility as a province to make sure that we do the next step to have it ready.”
The new law would allow adults 18 and over to possess up to 30 grams of dried cannabis or its equivalent in public, share up to 30 grams of dried marijuana with other adults and buy cannabis or cannabis oil from a provincially regulated retailer.
They would also be permitted to grow up to four plants per residence for personal use, as well as make legal cannabis-containing products at home.
WATCH: Now that the Trudeau government has tabled marijuana legislation, health officials, politicians and pot advocates in Nova Scotia are giving their thoughts over what it will mean for the province. Global’s Steve Silva has more.
On Wednesday, the province’s chief medical officer of health Dr. Robert Strang told reporters it will take the province a “significant amount of time” for the province to introduce its own legislation.
Strang said officials are “very concerned” about a summer of 2018 timeline.
“We’re talking about at least a two year time period to do this properly and do this well,” he said.
But McNeil said “it’s possible” to meet the federal government’s timeline in part because provinces and policing agencies have already started the work.
McNeil advocating for one system for Atlantic Canada
The provincial Liberals have consistently called for unified rules for selling marijuana across Atlantic Canada, including age, pricing and distribution. McNeil said the issue was discussed at Wednesday’s Atlantic premiers conference and all four premiers are on the same page.
“It’s important for Atlantic Canada to do one system,” he said. “We don’t want people jumping across the border unnecessarily.”
He said the goal of legalizing cannabis is to make sure it’s not as readily available for young people as it is today. He said the province will also be putting “a lot of focus” around preventing cannabis impaired driving.
—With files from the Canadian Press.