Nova Scotia says liquor corporation will open three additional marijuana outlets
HALIFAX -- Three months after announcing just nine outlets would sell legal marijuana in Nova Scotia, the province says three more outlets will be added by the fall.
Stores in Bridgewater, New Minas, and Antigonish will open as required renovations are completed -- adding outlets in areas left out in the first round.
Finance Minister Karen Casey said the Nova Scotia Liquor Corporation (NSLC) has been working since the original announcement on Jan. 30 to "identify additional locations that could be renovated for cannabis sales."
She said the first nine were chosen because they had available space previously used by bottle-your-own-wine operations. But the government felt there were some "gaps in the map," particularly in the province's southwest.
"We've learned a lot," Casey said in an interview Tuesday.
"The nine was the first phase for us, we recognized the gaps in the map so added the other three we announced today ... We found it closed the gap, or started to close the gap."
The new stores are to operate with two outlets in Halifax, and one each in Amherst, Dartmouth, Lower Sackville, New Glasgow, Sydney River, Truro and Yarmouth after legalization comes into effect this summer.
One of the Halifax locations will see the reopening of the former Clyde Street store in the city's downtown, which will sell cannabis exclusively.
Bret Mitchell, the liquor corporation's president and CEO, has said prices will vary depending upon the strain and characteristics of the cannabis, but in general they will likely have to be less than $10 per gram.
Product will be sold in enclosed areas by trained staff who will dispense it from behind the counter -- there will be no open displays.
Nova Scotians can also grow their own, and buy online from the NSLC.
Neighbouring New Brunswick plans to open 20 stand-alone stores in 15 communities, while Ontario has plans for 40 stores in 14 municipalities.
"It is a moving target and we're learning as we're going," Casey said.