N.B. nearly doubles number of confirmed cannabis retailers
The New Brunswick government has doubled the number of retail locations where cannabis will be sold when pot is legalized this summer.
The list has grown from 11 to 20 after the addition of nine new locations on Wednesday that will open between July and September.
“We feel with 20 locations across the province, we have a good geographic spread,” says Brian Harriman, CEO of New Brunswick Liquor.
The 20 locations are in sharp contrast to the nine confirmed for Nova Scotia on Tuesday. But the province’s recently-tabled budget did indicate the expectation of $7.2 million in revenue.
Municipalities have been pushing for a cut of that revenue, citing the cost of policing.
“We are in continuous discussions with the municipalities and we're constantly looking at what their additional costs will be,” says New Brunswick Finance Minister Cathy Rogers.
The hiring of Cannabis-NB employees will happen between late April and early May.
“We will be doing criminal background checks on anybody we hire and clearly our goal is to have the illegal market shrink,” says Harriman.
“n addition to different a retail approach, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia have a differing point of view on the potential for any economic benefit.
“Some are of the view that there's a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. We don't see that,” says Nova Scotia Justice Minister Mark Furey.
“If we have economic opportunities with the production of this product and research and development and good research to inform policy, you know, we want to be leaders here in New Brunswick,” Cathy Rogers says.
The Fredericton Chamber of Commerce is organizing an information session for its members ahead of the legalization.
“To inform our members about a variety of areas in ways that this may impact their business or things they should know, perhaps from a human resource aspect, legal aspect, regulatory aspect and so on,” says Krista Ross of the Fredericton Chamber of Commerce.
With file from CTV Atlantic’s Nick Moore.