The retail framework for cannabis distribution in the province of New Brunswick has been the subject of heavy speculation over the last few months. Today, that speculation ends.
NB Liquor will handle recreational cannabis sales through a subsidiary once nationwide legalization rolls out next summer, government officials have announced.
Through said subsidiary, NB Liquor will sell cannabis in up to 20 stand-alone stores in 15 New Brunswick communities. The stores will operate under business rules, terms and conditions set forth by the Crown corporation itself.
"Our priorities are clear and we believe that today's announcement is the best model to help us meet our objectives," said Finance Minister Cathy Rogers in a media release.
"Advice we have heard from other jurisdictions that have legalized cannabis, like Colorado and Washington, is to start with tight government oversight, which is what we are doing."
Officials explained that NB Liquor’s experience in the retail industry will provide a smooth transition into the cannabis market.
Earlier this month, NB Liquor released a call for bids for retail locations in 15 different locations across the province. The bid states that the crown corporation is seeking 3,000+ sq ft locations with parking and delivery truck space.
While officials say other locations will be opened based on market capacity and demand, online sales will also be available to ensure that cannabis is available province-wide.
Provincial officials previously announced they had formed a new Crown corporation to manage cannabis distribution. Finance Minister Cathy Rogers said at the time that the Crown corporation would not be running retail operations, and that the province would work with “another entity” to do so.
The New Brunswick government inked deals with two cannabis producers, Organigram and Canopy Growth, who will supply at least nine million grams of cannabis per year to the province’s recreational market.
h/t CBC News