With New Brunswick cannabis set to be cultivated by Organigram (TSXV: OGI) and Canopy Growth (TSX: WEED), the provincial government has now determined that a Crown corporation, not the private sector, will handle retail cannabis sales.
On Oct. 25, 2017, New Brunswick announced that NB Liquor will run the province’s retail recreational cannabis operations.
“Your government is prioritizing public health and safety concerns as we move towards the legalization of recreational cannabis,” said Health Minister Benoît Bourque in a press release. “We have listened to New Brunswickers and we want to ensure that cannabis stays out of the hands of criminals and youth. By having NB Liquor operate the retail spaces this will help us achieve these goals.”
According to Finance Minister Cathy Rogers, “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. NB Liquor has experience in the retail market and we believe their knowledge and expertise will provide a smooth transition into this new market.”
NB Liquor will open up to 20 stand-alone New Brunswick cannabis stores across 15 communities, with adults also having access to online sales.
“NB Liquor is proud to have been chosen to be the retailer of recreational cannabis and this is a responsibility we take very seriously,” said Brian Harriman, President and CEO of NB Liquor. “This model will operate with more regulation and control than our retail network of liquor stores, but it will still be a pleasant shopping experience for the people of New Brunswick. We feel confident that this model will support the federally stated objectives of legalization.”