Nova Scotia is setting the legal age to buy and possess marijuana at 19, and will be selling it online and at existing Nova Scotia Liquor Corporation (NSLC) stores.
Justice Minister Mark Furey made the announcement on Thursday following the release of results from a survey of Nova Scotians.
“Today’s decision and those we will make in the days to come are all rooted in the primary objective of public safety and public health particularly around our youth,” said Furey.
Furey says NSLC was chosen to distribute and sell cannabis, ahead of Ottawa’s plan to legalize it by next July, because the Crown corporation already has the “experience and expertise” to sell restricted products.
“We believe they are…the best delivery model as we go down the road of legalization,” he said.
Several other provinces have released their legalization strategies, including New Brunswick and Newfoundland and Labrador, which have also set their legal age at 19.
Unlike New Brunswick, which has set rules requiring cannabis users to keep their cannabis locked up in their homes, Furey says Nova Scotia does not plan on imposing such requirements.
Furey says the province doesn’t have a final cost on its cannabis strategy yet, and plans to make more announcements about legalization as decisions are finalized.
Meanwhile, the province has released its online survey indicating 78 per cent of the 31,000 respondents supported Ottawa’s decision to legalize recreational cannabis, with 75 per cent saying 19 was an appropriate age.
WATCH: Nova Scotia asks for feedback on legal marijuana age of 19, sales at Crown corporation
Results were mixed on how people felt recreation pot should be sold, with about half saying they supported the use of a Crown corporation like the provincial liquor commission.
The majority – 73 per cent – also agreed with some outdoor use of recreational cannabis, but with restrictions.
With files from The Canadian Press