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N.B.'s first private cannabis store is now open

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New Brunswick’s first privately run cannabis store has just opened.

Cannabis Xpress, an Ontario-based retail chain, began operating Wednesday in Grand Bay-Westfield.

“It’s exciting Cannabis NB has expanded the model to allow private companies to open up stores,” said owner Chris Jones. “And it’s exciting for us, because all of our stores are in Ontario. It’s nice to bring them to another province as well.”

In the fall of 2022, Cannabis NB ended a process to approve private cannabis retail locations in “under served” communities.

Under the new retail model, private cannabis retailers will be required to source all supplies from Cannabis NB.

“Anecdotally, we think about half of cannabis sales in the province are coming through Cannabis NB, or what we’re calling legal retail channels,” says Cannabis NB CEO Lori Stickles. “So there is a lot of opportunity I think for these private retailers to bring customers in that are maybe shopping in the legacy market right now.”

“From that perspective, there are opportunities,” she said.

Jones said he expected Cannabis Xpress to open locations in Hampton and Saint Andrews within the next few months.

Cannabis NB confirmed private retail locations would soon open in Blackville and Bouctouche (Cost Cannabis), and Chipman (Green Timber Cannabis).

Tenders for private retail locations have also been approved in Caraquet, Saint-Quentin, and Salisbury.

In May, Cannabis NB reported fourth quarter sales -- ending Apr. 2, 2023 -- of $20.5 million, a decrease of 2.5 per cent compared to the same period last year. 

Previously, Cannabis NB’s ‘FarmGate’ program has allowed licensed New Brunswick cannabis producers to sell their own products onsite at their own facilities. 

For the latest New Brunswick news, visit our dedicated provincial page.

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