The New Brunswick government is moving ahead with plans to establish a thriving marijuana industry once the drug is legalized in Canada.
Premier Brian Gallant issued a statement Friday confirming that St. Thomas University in Fredericton will establish a new research chair on cannabis. The government says the position is believed to be the first of its kind in Canada. The premier says the research position is expected to provide data and scholarly interpretation to guide public policy.
University president Dawn Russell says more research is needed as the province prepares for a socially complex change.
Potential areas for research include a comparative analysis between medical and recreational use of cannabis, substance abuse prevention and public health strategies.
"We all want to get cannabis out of the hands of youth and get the proceeds of selling cannabis out of the hands of criminals," Gallant said in a statement.
"We will first focus on keeping New Brunswickers safe by having strong regulations for production, distribution, and sale of cannabis coupled with the necessary awareness programs and enforcement."
Shoppers Drug Mart and the New Brunswick Health Research Foundation will contribute $1-million over five years to the project.