The province of New Brunswick has secured 13 million grams of cannabis for the launch of recreational legalization next summer.
Officials say this makes New Brunswick the first province to lock down its supply of cannabis ahead of the federal government’s July 1, 2018 deadline.
The province announced a memorandum of understanding with British Columbia-based grower Zenabis to provide four million grams of cannabis and derivative products with a retail value of roughly $40 million.
Previously signed agreements between the province and Organigram and Canopy Growth Corp. are worth about $40 million annually and amounted to nine million grams of cannabis.
“New Brunswick becomes (the) first province in Canada to fully secure supply of cannabis and cannabis products for all its consumers,” read a joint press release from Zenabis and the province.
It’s anticipated that this latest deal will create roughly 450 jobs in the next two years in the New Brunswick village of Atholville.
In August of 2016, the province announced it would provide a $4 million loan to Zenabis to build its New Brunswick facility, which will host the production and distribution of pharmaceutical-grade cannabis. The local First Nation invested $3 million in the 393,000 square foot facility.
“This opportunity will not only provide a financial return, but more importantly — a partnership built from meaningful conversations, a vision for the future within the sector, and a lasting, mutual, beneficial, business relationship,” said Chief Darcy Gray of the Listuguj Mi’gmaq Government in a statement.
Zenabis has another production license in Delta, B.C., and is in the midst of securing a license for a 280,000 square foot facility in Stellarton, N.S., which the company says will make it the “only coast to coast licensed producer in the country.”
The New Brunswick government announced earlier this fall that the province’s liquor corporation, NB Liquor, will handle recreational cannabis sales through a subsidiary once nationwide legalization rolls out next summer.
Through said subsidiary, NB Liquor will sell cannabis in up to 20 stand-alone stores in 15 New Brunswick communities.
h/t Financial Post