N.B. moves toward privatization of cannabis sales following losses in first year

FREDERICTON — New Brunswick has issued a request for proposals for a single private operator to take over the government’s operation, distribution and sales of recreational cannabis in the province.

Finance Minister Ernie Steeves says today that after a careful analysis, the government concluded the best approach was to turn to the private sector.

Interested proponents will have until Jan. 10, 2020 to submit proposals.

Cannabis NB, a provincial Crown corporation, lost almost $12 million in its first six months and continues to bleed red ink, although sales are on the rise.

It was announced last month that second quarter losses for the current year were $1.5 million.

Steeves says he expects strong interest in the request for proposals.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 14, 2019.

The Canadian Press