In an effort to bolster the legal cannabis industry in New Brunswick, Cannabis NB, the province’s regulator and retailer, has announced that it will now allow licensed New Brunswick cannabis producers to sell their own products onsite at their facilities under the new Cannabis FarmGate Program.
In order to participate, any eligible New Brunswick cannabis producers can submit an application to Cannabis NB for consideration, but to be eligible, all products sold at an approved FarmGate store must be grown, produced, and packaged on-site and they must meet all federal regulations from Health Canada.
Increasing Visibility and Opportunities
“We are thrilled to launch this program in New Brunswick. There is growing interest from both consumers and producers for this type of initiative across the country and we believe this will create opportunities for the legal recreational cannabis industry,” said Lori Stickles, CEO of Cannabis NB, in a statement. “The Cannabis FarmGate program will increase visibility for local licensed producers, and provide them with more opportunities to educate customers about their products at their own facility, while also creating potential tourism opportunities.”
Rod Wilson of the New Brunswick Craft Cannabis Association told CBC that he hopes it will give cannabis producers the ability to market themselves directly to customers and build that brand loyalty that the industry is sorely lacking.
“It’s an encouraging step in the right direction,” he said. “It makes the small-scale local cultivators and processors a more viable small-business opportunity.”
As exciting as the news is for New Brunswick producers and consumers, it’s not without its issues. Of course, there will likely be strict requirements for insurance, security, and age-verification procedures, but producers will also have to keep visitors’ dirty fingers out of the merchandise to uphold Health Canada guidelines, as well.
Not only that, but the eligibility requirements of having everything created onsite may exclude micro-processors and cultivators who outsource one or more steps in their production. According to Wilson, there are around 16 producers in the province, with approximately 12 that could be considered “craft”, but no one is sure how many qualify or want to set up this service.
Cannabis NB operates 20 stores in 15 communities already, and Cannabis NB spokesperson Lara Wood told CBC that some could be open as soon as a few months. Overall, members of the cannabis industry in New Brunswick are excited about the new development and looking forward to the growth that it can bring to Atlantic cannabis.