In New Brunswick this week, presenting before Select Committee on Cannabis
NICHE would like to commend the province of New Brunswick and its working group for focusing on the importance of Corporate Responsibility.
It is important to note that just as governments are struggling to determine appropriate roles, regulations, and programs, so too is industry trying to establish business practices and corporate strategies that not only meet the business goals of establishing a new and highly innovative sector, but also to fulfil its responsibilities as good corporate citizens and reflect the fact that we as individuals are members of the communities that will be impacted.
At NICHE we are working with industry to establish college-based training programs to meet the HR needs of the sector, as well as hosting government and industry discussions and conducting research to identify common challenges and collaborative approaches.
The findings of the federal Task Force on Cannabis Legalization and Regulation and the experiences of jurisdictions such as Colorado and Washington state made it clear that governments and industry must work together to develop a regulatory framework for the sector in order to achieve shared goals of developing a globally competitive industry while safeguarding public health and safety.
NICHE recommends that the Government of New Brunswick work closely with the Cannabis Industry, and other sectors to:
Develop public education and industry engagement strategies;
Work with police to ensure public safety;
Work with unions and on issues like impairment in the workplace;
Develop and help deliver campaigns focused on youth and other groups at risk (e.g. mental health issues);
Help educate other jurisdictions that are just starting down the same path as Canada;
Help gather data and long-term research to monitor the impact of legalization;
Establish fair and open industry reporting practices
Work with Industry in the non-cannabis sector to address issues such as impacts on the workplace, employee and employer rights and business costs like insurance etc.
Keep an eye on the horizon as the sector and technologies evolve so that governments and industry can work together to address issues before they arise (e.g. impact of edibles);
Share information and best practices across industry sectors and between jurisdictions.