N.B. Policing Association wary of legalization of cannabis edibles

There’s increasing concern among law enforcement officials in New Brunswick, who say they still don’t have the resources to properly police edibles.

Sgt. Chanel Roy, president of the New Brunswick Policing Association, says officers still don’t have a reliable roadside method of detecting if drivers have smoked pot, let alone those who have eat or drink it.

“Testing it is the main issue on these new products that will come out,” Roy said.

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“We are just not there yet for the proper tools to detect cannabis.”

READ MORE: NSLC to renovate all 12 cannabis stores ahead of edible legalization

Cannabis breathalyzers are now being tested in the field, including here in the Maritimes, Roy says. But it’s unclear to him if they can detect edibles or when they’re consumed.

Moncton-based Organigram will be launching its first collection of edibles in late December or early January.

“One of the challenges that we have seen in the edible space, in general, is that there is significant safety concerns around onset time,” said Organigram spokesperson Ray Gracewood, “so products could take effect from anywhere from 45 minutes to two hours later.”

Which Roy says could lead to problems with overconsumption.

“If you don’t have that initial buzz within 10 minutes, what will you do?  You will probably consume more, and that is the main issue we talk about when we talk about these new products that will come out,” said Roy.

“People are going to have to educate themselves on the effects of these new products.”

WATCH: Coming soon to a store shelf near you: edibles and other cannabis products

More and more officers are being trained to detect when a driver is under the influence of cannabis without the use of a device, Roy says.

According to the RCMP national headquarters responsible for administering drug recognition training, there are 46 certified Drug Recognition Experts in New Brunswick,

According to the New Brunswick Department of Public Safety, only 14 administrative short-term licence suspensions have been issued for drug-impaired driving since legalization, and they have not received any Criminal Code convictions for of drug-impaired driving from the courts to date.

It’s estimated that when cannabis edibles hit the market, twice as many Canadians may start consuming pot. Roy says when that happens, it will “present a great challenge for all of our members across Canada”

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