Former Nova Scotia premier Darrell Dexter talks life as a cannabis adviser and state of the NDP

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Life as a cannabis advisor for former Nova Scotia Premier Darrell Dexter
Former Nova Scotia premier Darrell Dexter had his portrait unveiled in the province's legislature. He sat down with Sarah Ritchie after the ceremony to talk about his current role as an adviser to the cannabis industry – Nov 27, 2018

Tuesday was a special day for former Nova Scotia premier Darrell Dexter as an official portrait was unveiled in the province’s legislature.

Serving as the first NDP premier in the province’s history from 2009 to 2013, there’s no doubt that Dexter left a mark on the province.

READ MORE: Former Nova Scotia premier Darrell Dexter to teach course at Dalhousie

But these days, the former politician is leaving his mark in an entirely different field. He currently serves as an adviser for many industries, but chief among them is Canada’s burgeoning legal cannabis sector.

“There’s so much more that is going to be developing over the coming years,” he said, referring to the impending introduction of edibles.

“We’re providing a lot of advice on good management practices and how to deal with the government on these kinds of things.”

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But Dexter doesn’t just have his eye on Canada. He says the world’s medicinal cannabis market is huge and it only continues to grow.

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With the 30 odd countries that have medicinal frameworks in place, Dexter says it’s a $170-billion market.

“That’s why you already have Canadian companies who are already in Germany and Portugal and Brazil and other parts of the world.”

“This sector is really in its infancy and it’s only going to continue to grow.”

But that doesn’t mean that Dexter is surprised about the extensive supply shortages in Canada.

“Everyone who had a window into the industry knew it could likely happen,” he said.

Despite working within the cannabis industry Dexter says he hasn’t changed his position on the drug — he says he’s a “well informed” adviser, but he doesn’t partake.

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With the eye on the 2019 federal election, Dexter seemed unperturbed about the lack of results for the NDP in the recent New Brunswick provincial election.

“I think the party develops at different speeds in different places,” he said.

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