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CFIB supports private sector for cannabis distribution in Newfoundland and Labrador

['Vaughn Hammond.']
['Vaughn Hammond.']

The Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) is asking for significant private sector involvement in the retail of cannabis in Newfoundland and Labrador.

The CFIB sent a letter to minister of Justice and Public Safety and Attorney General Andrew Parsons asking the province to revisit its proposal for the Newfoundland and Labrador Liquor Corp. (NLC) to serve as the distributor for cannabis, set to become legal on July 1, 2018.

“As we have raised in the past, the NLC is regulating itself as a liquor retailer,” Vaughn Hammond, director of provincial affairs in Newfoundland and Labrador said in a news release Tuesday.

“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,” he added.

He said Ontario announced recently its preferred approach of a separate public sector monopoly similar to the provincial liquor system.

He said the best option for this province is for a provincial government department to regulate cannabis and leave the retail of cannabis to the private sector.

The CFIB says a properly regulated private sector will have greater success in tackling the underground economy.

“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,” Hammond said

samuel.mcneish@thetelegram.com

 

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