What you need to know – New Brunswick Cannabis Licence
New Brunswick Cannabis Licence Update
In a recent development, Cannabis N.B. has issued requests for proposals for stores in Blackville, Bouctouche, Caraquet, Chipman, Dalhousie, Grand Bay-Westfield, Hampton, Saint Andrews, Saint-Quentin and Salisbury. There are 10 private retail store locations available, and they will be selected through a public tender process, which was announced on September 14, 2022, in a recent article on the CBC.
The RFP phase is only open until October 5, 2022, so interested parties are strongly encouraged to begin immediately preparing their RFP with the assistance of a qualified licensing consultant such as CannDelta.
Currently, all cannabis outlets and online sales are authorized and regulated by the government-owned Cannabis NB, a New Brunswick Liquor Corporation (ANBL) subsidiary. There are currently 20 Cannabis NB dispensaries in New Brunswick.
A recent bill, entitled “An Act Respecting the Retail Sale of Cannabis,” Bill 79, moved to Royal Ascent on April 1, 2022. Here is the reading in the Legislative Assembly by Finance Minister Ernie Steeves.
New Brunswick Cannabis License Bill Expands
The bill allows for Cannabis New Brunswick (the only provincial regulator, distributor, and retailer) to expand its model by licensing private subsidiaries to operate under the crown corporation, including cannabis farmgate stores for local, Health Canada-licensed producers to sell their own products directly to consumers.
In November 2019, Cannabis NB announced that it would transition from a crown corporation into the private sector due to significant losses incurred. A major challenge has been that, unlike other smaller provinces like Nova Scotia and Newfoundland, New Brunswick only permits stand-alone cannabis retail stores that are not associated with other stores (e.g., liquor stores).
New Brunswick received 8 proposals to privatize cannabis sales in response to a December 2019 request for proposals (RFP) for a single private operator. The government announced a single private operator in the spring of 2020.
The eight companies that submitted proposals are:
- Canopy Growth Corp.
- Fire & Flower Inc.
- Green Shop Cannabis Ltd.
- Kiaro Brands Inc.
- Loblaw Companies Ltd.
- New Brunswick Association of Cannabis Distributors
- RSL NB
- YSS Corp.