May 5, 2017 3:09 pm

With legalization on the horizon New Brunswick establishes marijuana research chair

FILE: A young man smokes a marijuana joint during a rally in downtown Vancouver, B.C., on Wednesday April 20, 2011.

Darryl Dyck / The Canadian Press

The New Brunswick government is moving ahead with plans to establish a thriving marijuana industry once the drug is legalized in Canada.

Premier Brian Gallant issued a statement Friday confirming that St. Thomas University in Fredericton will establish a new research chair on cannabis.

The government says the position is believed to be the first of its kind in Canada.

READ MORE: New Brunswick companies prepare for a future with legal marijuana

The premier says the research position is expected to provide data and scholarly interpretation to guide public policy.

University president Dawn Russell says more research is needed as the province prepares for a socially complex change.

Potential areas for research include a comparative analysis between medical and recreational use of cannabis, substance abuse prevention and public health strategies.

© 2017 The Canadian Press

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