New Brunswick Crown monopoly corporation Cannabis NB reported a $2.2M Q1 loss—on top of a previous loss of $11.7M reported in April, at the end of the first six months of legalization.
- When news broke of the $11.7M loss, Progressive Conservative premier Blaine Higgs said he was open to major changes, including privatizing REC retail, scaling Cannabis NB down, or bringing in outside experts to run the organization.
- This time, government officials did not say what they might do. Finance Minister Ernie Steeves said there would be no final decision until next year.
- A Cannabis NB spokesperson blamed the loss on competition from “up to 40” illicit dispensaries, which they called ” the biggest risk and threat to a safe, legal cannabis retail industry.”
- Recently, Health Canada issued licenses to its 200th licensee—but in Quebec, there remain only 14 LPs. Part of the reason is that Quebec venture capital comes from government-backed institutional investors, who until recently flatly refused to support cannabis projects.
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