New Brunswick’s First Private Cannabis Store Now Open!

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New Brunswick’s First Private Cannabis Store Now Open!

Revolutionizing Cannabis Retail in New Brunswick

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The cannabis industry continues to evolve and expand across Canada, and New Brunswick is no exception. Exciting news has arrived for cannabis enthusiasts in the province as New Brunswick’s first privately run cannabis store, Cannabis Xpress, has officially opened its doors. This Ontario-based retail chain has chosen Grand Bay-Westfield as its inaugural location, marking a significant milestone for both the province and the private cannabis retail sector.

A New Era for Cannabis Retail in New Brunswick

The expansion of the model allowing private companies to open cannabis stores in New Brunswick has generated considerable excitement. Owner Chris Jones expressed his enthusiasm, especially because all of their stores were previously based in Ontario. The opportunity to bring their successful retail chain to another province is a welcomed prospect for Cannabis Xpress.

In the fall of 2022, Cannabis NB, the government-run entity responsible for cannabis retail in New Brunswick, ended the process to approve private cannabis retail locations in underserved communities. This move signaled a shift towards a new retail model, wherein private cannabis retailers will be required to source all supplies from Cannabis NB. By collaborating with the government entity, these private retailers can ensure compliance and maintain the high standards set for the industry.

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Capitalizing on the Growing Legal Retail Market

Cannabis NB CEO Lori Stickles believes that about half of cannabis sales in the province currently flow through Cannabis NB and other legal retail channels. This observation highlights the immense potential for private retailers to tap into a customer base that may still be shopping in the legacy market. By providing a legal and regulated alternative, these new private stores can entice customers away from the illicit market and contribute to the growth of the legal cannabis industry in New Brunswick.

Jones shared his plans for Cannabis Xpress, stating that they expected to open additional locations in Hampton and Saint Andrews within the coming months. This expansion will undoubtedly broaden the accessibility of legal cannabis products for residents in these areas and further establish the presence of private cannabis retailers in the province.

The Arrival of Other Private Retail Locations

Cannabis NB has confirmed that several other private retail locations will soon be opening their doors in various communities across New Brunswick. These locations include Blackville and Bouctouche, where Cost Cannabis is set to establish its presence, and Chipman, where Green Timber Cannabis will make its debut. Additionally, tenders for private retail locations have been approved in Caraquet, Saint-Quentin, and Salisbury, promising even more choices for cannabis consumers throughout the province.

May Sales Report and Industry Outlook

In May, Cannabis NB released its sales report for the fourth quarter, ending on April 2, 2023. The report indicated total sales of $20.5 million, representing a slight decrease of 2.5 percent compared to the same period in the previous year. While the decrease may raise eyebrows, it is essential to consider various factors that could contribute to fluctuations in sales, such as market demand, product availability, and the evolving competitive landscape.

Despite this minor decline, the opening of the first private cannabis store in New Brunswick presents an opportunity for growth and rejuvenation within the legal retail market. By diversifying the options available to consumers, private retailers can attract new customers and offer a distinct experience that complements the existing offerings provided by Cannabis NB.

Leveraging the ‘FarmGate’ Program for Local Producers

It is worth noting that Cannabis NB’s ‘FarmGate’ program, launched before the advent of private cannabis stores, allowed licensed New Brunswick cannabis producers to sell their own products onsite at their facilities. This initiative has facilitated direct consumer interaction and supported local producers, promoting a sense of community and fostering economic growth within the industry.

Now, with the arrival of private cannabis stores, licensed producers can explore new avenues for reaching consumers while also benefiting from increased exposure and foot traffic. Collaborations between private retailers and local producers could create unique and mutually beneficial partnerships that enhance the overall cannabis landscape in New Brunswick.

Conclusion

N.B.’s first private cannabis store, Cannabis Xpress, has ushered in a new era for cannabis retail in New Brunswick. With the expansion of private companies entering the market, consumers now have greater access to legal cannabis products while contributing to the growth of the provincial economy. Cannabis Xpress, along with other confirmed private retail locations, is poised to offer a wide range of options for cannabis enthusiasts across the province. As the industry continues to evolve, it is an exciting time for both consumers and stakeholders, with the potential to reshape the cannabis retail landscape in New Brunswick.

Cannabis Xpress is the first privately owned cannabis store in N.B.

SOURCE: CTV News

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