CUPE 963, the union representing New Brunswick Liquor workers, is encouraged by the conclusions of the interim report released this week by a working group on cannabis legalization. This government‑led report outlined the necessity for a public model for the legalization of recreational cannabis.

“I am encouraged, because the working group has recognized explicitly that ANBL and Local 963 workers have ‘extensive experience in retailing a controlled substance and has systems in place to support the retail environment for recreational cannabis’”, said Jamie Agnew, President of CUPE 963.

As government is aiming for a completely public model, the government has, however, yet to guarantee it will go with ANBL rather than create a new Crown Corporation altogether.

“We hope they do this through our existing Crown Corporation. Our members have the skills, the professionalism to do the job right. Public control is really key to the success of any safety plan,” said Daniel Légère, president of CUPE NB.

“We will participate in the public consultations during the summer, and we will certainly repeat the message that ANBL is the least costly way to ensure safety, retail compliance and enforcement,” concluded Légère.