Cannabis NB store (GNB photo)

The Higgs government has backtracked on its plan to sell Cannabis NB to a private sector operators. Premier Blaine Higgs says “discussions with the top-ranked proponent have concluded and our government has decided that the best approach for New Brunswickers is to continue with the Cannabis NB model that is now in place.”

A Request for Proposals for a private operator to take over the operation received 8 responses when bidding closed in January of last year. The cannabis retail operation got off to a shaky start with mounting losses. But – the financial picture has been improving with profits now being posted.

Finance Minister Ernie Steeves says “while we were pleased with the level of interest and engagement from the private sector, Cannabis NB’s performance over the past few months, as well as careful consideration of the social and economic implications of the retail model, has given us confidence that New Brunswick taxpayers and consumers can be well served through continued improvements within the current model.”