Fredericton — The Conservative government of New Brunswick has made it clear for over a year now that it intends to offload Cannabis NB onto a private company, citing low sales.
However, in recent months, the business has exceeded expectations, and is anticipated to earn the province $10 million before the end of the fiscal year in March. This makes the province’s plans to foist the business onto a private investor much harder to justify.
“I want to make it clear that I have no moral objection to cannabis. The law is the law,” Premier Blaine Higgs explained. “If these stoner degenerates want to smoke away their unemployment insurance, it’s their right…for now.”
The premier is not alone in these sentiments.
“This income should not be going back to the people of the province,” said Finance Minister Ernie Steeves, in a video statement. “It’s dirty money. It should be going to a private company. One that has experience laundering cash.
“With more money comes more auditing and financing,” Steeves continued. “When the province is in charge of a company, we are responsible for all of the value and tax assessments. Whereas, when it’s a private company — Irving, for example — we only have to assess 65 percent. Maybe less.”
As it will be far easier to get rid of the company if it begins to lose money, the Higgs government has outlined several initiatives for mitigating profits:
—Hire retired elementary teachers to dissuade former students from purchasing
—The old “make them smoke a whole pack” trick
—Lower the standards of what is considered “edible” to those set by Sobeys deli
—Replace the samples at the smelling station with farts and mouldy cheese.
—Reprint packaging to include paranoia-inducing questions like, “Wait, did you leave the stove on?”
It remains to be seen whether these strategies will be effective. In the meantime, smoke ‘em while you got ‘em.