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Newfoundland and Labrador Liquor Corp ponders pot availability

The Newfoundland Liquor Corporation's store logo.
The Newfoundland Liquor Corporation's store logo. - FILE

NLC unsure which cannabis products will be available once legalization hits

The Newfoundland and Labrador Liquor Corp. (NLC) is still sorting out exactly what will be on the menu in this province once cannabis is legalized.

As it stands, the NLC doesn’t know what specific brands, strains or range of products will be available for sale once the province lights up.

The NLC says legalization will be in July, despite some hand-wringing from the federal government on the exact date of legalization.

For now, NLC spokesperson Greg Gill says a request for information has been sent to potential cannabis suppliers to get an idea about which products could be available.

“This is not a competitive procurement process. Rather we are simply looking to hear from companies that have non-medical cannabis that might be available for sale in N.L. once legalization takes place,” Gill stated in an email.

“Once we get a view of what’s out there we may consider a ‘Call for Listings’ whereby we look to secure certain products for sale at licensed cannabis retailers.”

All that is known so far is that cannabis will be available as flower, oil and capsules. A decision on edible products of concentrates such as shatter is expected from Health Canada in 2019.

Gill says once a decision is made on the full scale of cannabis varieties and forms, it will be publicly available on the NLC website.

Speculation continues

So far, Canopy Growth is the only company with a supply agreement in place with the provincial government. The company has committed to build a $40-million production facility on the Northeast Avalon.

However, Canopy Growth is the name of a company that owns seven different brands that each supply different products.

Tweed is perhaps the most well-known brand, focusing mainly on recreational cannabis. Spectrum Cannabis is the medicinally focused brand, supplying the health care industry.

Then there’s Leafs By Snoop, a brand curated by rapper Snoop Dogg through Canopy Growth.

There also is the brand Foria, which specializes in cannabis-infused sexual enhancement products, but whether or not cannabis-infused sexual lubricants will be available in Newfoundland and Labrador from Canopy Growth’s production facility is unknown at this point.

Revenue questions

In the House of Assembly on Monday, Opposition Leader Paul Davis and Finance Minister Tom Osborne exchanged barbs about the upcoming legalization.

Through Davis’s questioning, Osborne said a total of $2.4 million will come from the federal government to this province to support training efforts and policing surrounding legalization.

This province budgeted to take in $5.8 million in tax revenue from cannabis once it becomes legal. The 2018 budget says the province will spend about $4 million on retail and distributing cannabis through the NLC, for about $1.8 million in revenue for the province in 2018-19.

david.maher@thetelegram.com

Twitter: DavidMaherNL

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