The History of Marijuana in New Brunswick

Canada expects to legalize recreational marijuana throughout the whole country by Canada Day on July, 1, 2018. As the country awaits the specifics of the legislation, many individual provinces are preparing for the change, because they will be able to practice their own cannabis laws once legalization becomes law. New Brunswick  is included among the provinces preparing for legalization, though many have been preparing for this since New Brunswick’s history with cannabis began in the 1980s.

Some may argue that New Brunswick’s history with cannabis started in the 1960s, with the rise of the counterculture, which embraced young Canadians known as “hippies” who smoked marijuana.  By the 1980s, the premier of New Brunswick, Richard Hatfield was a known cannabis consumer, so in 1984 he was found in possession of marijuana. He was caught while boarding a plane to join Queen Elizabeth II during her royal tour, but Hatfield denied the marijuana was his, claiming someone put it in his bag. His party still lost every seat in the legislature three years later because after the trial, Hatfield faced new allegations surrounding his drug use, but no charges were filed. Now, New Brunswick is changing its ways and joining the industry because the province just signed the biggest legal recreational marijuana deal in Canadian history.


It’s no secret that my husband and I are longtime cannabis and hemp advocates. We’ve cheered as the majority of Americans have come around to supporting legalization, and applauded as cannabis law reform spreads from state to state. Still, decades of prohibitionist propaganda have left many in the dark about the powerful wellness potential of these long-demonized plants.

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