Some 100,000 Canadians currently use medical marijuana – and the number is growing by 10% each month, according to the Canadian National Medical Marijuana Association.
The industry’s potential growth spurt comes just as New Brunswick stares down a fast-approaching perfect storm of an ageing demographic and economic decline. “We’re desperate for growth,” said Moncton-based economist Richard Saillant.
In some ways New Brunswick has more in common with countries, such as Greece or Portugal, than with other regions of Canada, said Saillant. “We share the same characteristics as those countries to the extent that they’re slow-growing peripheral economies that are fast aging and that are facing major financial stress.”
Home to some 750,000 people, the province is the only one in Canada with a shrinking population, as deaths outnumber births and younger residents head west for jobs. In their wake they leave an unemployment rate that hovers around 10% – one of the highest in Canada.
Please, New Brunswick, don't do it. Think of the last time some genius imagined an agricultural salvation for a Maritime province. Think "Pecker." Think Newfoundland and Labrador. Think Brian Peckford. Think cucumbers.
When the Sprung cucumber adventure blew up in his face, Pecker hightailed it out of Newfoundland - about as far away as he could get and still be in Canada. He's still there, just down the road from me in Qualicum Beach where he continues to dabble in rightwing provincial politics, this time British Columbia's.
So, New Brunswick, we've done our share. No more. If that marijuana venture goes up in smoke, we don't want any more failed politicians from that end of the country.