Marijuana plants grow at LifeLine Labs in Cottage Grove, Minn., in 2015. The looming deadline for legalized marijuana has local governments in British Columbia crafting wish lists for provincial legislation, from where pot should be grown to how it should be sold. File photo by THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

Health ministers to talk cannabis, opioids

Health ministers set to discuss cannabis and opioids during two-day meeting in Edmonton

Canada’s health ministers kick off a two-day meeting in Edmonton today, and topics on the agenda include the ongoing opioid crisis and the pending legalization of cannabis.

Deaths from opioid abuse are expected to surpass 3,000 this year, and the ministers say they need to compare notes on what is working and not working.

Related: Growing marijuana industry sparks new research around cannabis: scientists

Federal Health Minister Ginette Petipas Taylor will join them on Friday to deliver an update on plans to legalize recreational use of cannabis by July 1.

The federal government has set 18 as the minimum legal age, although provinces can set the age higher.

Some ministers say they are concerned, given that studies suggest cannabis can impact brain development in youth and legalizing marijuana can lead to more youth taking up smoking.

Related: Marijuana rules will be ‘a work in progress’

The ministers will also meet with Indigenous leaders, as well as discuss prescription drug reform and a national pharmacare program.

The Canadian Press

Just Posted

Sooke to host Western Canada’s first all-female boxing card

58 fighters from across North America to be featured at April 28 and 29 event

UPDATE: Two rescued after falling from ferry at Swartz Bay

One crew member is injured after rescue boat mechanism fails, causing it to fall from the ferry

Missing: 72-year old Gregory Helmer

Victoria Police are asking for your help in locating Gregory Helmer.

Victoria’s Elizabeth Buckley School to close in June

Independent school suffers teacher shortage after 30 years of providing education alternatives

From wet noodle to Killer bee

Sooke reporter reflects on four month boxing challenge

New play examines Indigenous identity

Belfry Theatres Salt Baby coming to Victoria April 17 - May 13

Builder of Kinder Morgan reinforces concerns over project

B.C. heads to court over pipeline jurisdiction as builder says doubt warranted

Spring Home Show this weekend in Colwood

West Shore Parks and Recreation will be transformed to showcase everything home related

Health committee cheers idea of national pharmacare program, but cost an issue

Conservative health critic Marilyn Gladu says she fears costs could be far higher than $19 billion

Canada’s oldest blood donor says it’s all gain, no pain after decades of giving

Great-grandmother and Coquitlam, B.C., resident has been donating blood since the late 1940s

Union says Trump bullying threatens hundreds of B.C. pulp mill jobs

Fear mounts that new U.S. anti-dumping duties could price Catalyst mills out of business

B.C. real estate regulator to undergo NDP review

B.C. real estate agents were self-regulated until 2016, when BC Liberals appointed superintendent

B.C. pizza shop broken into 4 times in 2 weeks

A Vernon business owner is beginning to feel targeted

Man accused of Abbotsford school stabbing hearing voices, intensely paranoid

Lawyer says Gabriel Klein not fit to stand trial in May because of deteriorating mental state

Most Read