The Government of Newfoundland and Labrador is busy making sure people have access to cannabis for personal use if they want it once it becomes legal in July 2018.
As previously announced, the Liberals will have the Newfoundland and Labrador Liquor Corp. (NLC) provide all of the cannabis needed in the province, as obtained from Health Canada-certified suppliers and sold through the NLC and NLC-certified retailers.
Questions coming now from the province’s Progressive Conservatives are, who will be the initial suppliers, for how much and for how long?
The PCs want to know if the agreements for initial supply will allow for N.L.-based suppliers to enter the market.
N.L. to sell cannabis through liquor corporation
PC Leader Paul Davis pressed the subject in question period Monday, asking if the government will issue a formal request for proposals for NLC’s marijuana supply.
The province has announced there will be a public call for businesses interested in becoming front-end retailers, but the same cannot be said on the supply side.
Justice Minister Andrew Parsons previously noted the certification of safe suppliers is a federal process, and he repeated it again in responding to questions Monday.
“What we can say is that there are significant regulations when it comes to this and it is federally controlled who gets production, but we will continue to work with entrepreneurs to ensure that we have production here in this province,” he said.
There have been talks already between the government and potential suppliers based outside of the province — certified and in a position to supply the NLC.
Names have not been released, but Tourism, Culture, Industry and Innovation Minister Chris Mitchelmore said in November further information will be released when the province has signed on a supplier or suppliers.