New Brunswick's economy is built on marijuana and maple syrup - at least, that's how the official opposition characterized the Canadian province's financial outlook last week. When Liberal Premier Brian Gallant introduced his government's economic plan last week, interim Progressive Conservative Leader Bruce Fitch felt the government was putting all of the province's eggs in one sticky icky basket.
"It doesn't contain a target, a number, a milestone. There's nothing that they can measure whether or not they've succeeded in rolling this plan out," Fitch told the CBC.
"There's nothing new in there except for marijuana and the maple syrup, tourism sector. So I guess he's expecting to bet his economy on having people get the munchies and then go eat pancakes."
The interim Tory leader is referring to investments that the government recently made in the cannabis industry, including a $4-million investment in a licensed marijuana grower in northern New Brunswick.
Fitch isn't the only one criticizing the government for banking on cannabis. Earlier this week, Dr. Jurgen Rehm of the Canadian Mental Health Association criticized Premier Gallant for taking an economic development approach to marijuana instead of treating it primarily as an issue of public health. But his criticism certainly wasn't as entertaining as the notion that New Brunswick was trying to rebuild its struggling economy on strains and syrup.
Which begs the question: is New Brunswick poised to corner Canada's market for THC-infused syrup, medicated maple candy and other sticky edibles?