Legalized Cannabis Requires Significant Role for Private Sector: CFIB

Newfoundland and Labrador Liquor Corporation should be excluded

St. John’s, October 2, 2017 – As governments across the country announce their plans for cannabis legalization, the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) is asking for significant private sector involvement in the retail of cannabis in Newfoundland and Labrador. A properly regulated private sector will have greater success in tackling the underground economy. CFIB has written Honourable Andrew Parsons, Minister of Justice and Public Safety and Attorney General, to express these views. 

“Recently, the Government of Ontario announced its preferred approach of a separate public sector monopoly similar to the provincial liquor system,” stated Vaughn Hammond, Director of Provincial Affairs in Newfoundland and Labrador. “In Newfoundland and Labrador, the government does not have the fiscal capacity to establish a monopoly for cannabis and the private sector is better placed to reach all areas of the province in the most cost-efficient manner.” 

CFIB prefers the Newfoundland and Labrador Liquor Corporation (NLC) not be involved in the distribution and sale of cannabis. The best option for Newfoundland and Labrador is for a provincial government department to regulate cannabis and leave the retail of cannabis to the private sector. 

“As we have raised in the past, the NLC is regulating itself as a liquor retailer,” explained Hammond. “The last thing CFIB wants to see is the same concerns with the liquor system surface in a new cannabis framework. The government has an opportunity to build a solid framework to meet the intended goals of cannabis legalization. This will only be achieved with a strong private sector operating under appropriate regulations.” 

A copy of the letter is available here

For further information, contact Vaughn Hammond at 709-753-7745 or vaughn.hammond@cfib.ca. 

CFIB is Canada’s largest association of small- and medium-sized businesses with 109,000 members across every sector and region.

 

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