Loblaws Announces Plans to Sell Cannabis in Newfoundland & Labrador

(Courtesy of Loblaws)

The Canadian province of Newfoundland and Labrador has today announced a list of 24 retail sites in the province of “qualified applicants” that have made it to the next round of licensing to sell recreational cannabis, and one applicant has 10 of those approved sites.

A Loblaws spokesperson said the cannabis would be sold behind the counter in small, existing tobacco shops 'adjacent but separate' to the grocery stores.

The Loblaw Company, which owns a significant number of supermarkets in Canada, has earned the provisional pass by the provincial government at 10 of its Newfoundland grocery stores, including in the municipalities of Bay Roberts, St. John’s (two locations), Mount Pearl, Gander, Conception Bay South, Carbonear, Grand Falls-Windsor, Corner Brook, and Stephenville.

According to the Financial Post, a company spokesperson said the cannabis would be sold behind the counter in small, existing tobacco shops “adjacent but separate” to the grocery stores.

While it has been widely reported in the past months that Galen Weston-headed Loblaws was in the running to sell medical cannabis, it was not publicly known until today that they were in the running to sell recreational cannabis.  Now, the Canadian grocery giant appears to have made an about-face  and said yes to recreational cannabis—at least in the province of Newfound and Labrador.

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Loblaws and its collection of grocery stores make the company arguably the largest supermarket provider in Canada, and this could very well be the beginning of a larger pan-Canadian distribution of cannabis retail sales by the company if all goes well in Newfoundland and Labrador. The company owns Shoppers Drug Mart, which has established deals with four licensed producers to be become a distributor of medical cannabis to patients across Canada.

Other applicants that the province has deemed a “qualified licensed cannabis retailer applicant” include three locations of company Cape D’or, two of Canopy Growth Corporation, and one at each of Holyrood Medical, The Herbal Centre, The Healthy Vibe, Dee Dee’s Shope, Holdings, Thomas H Clarke, The Healthy Vibe, Tobin’s Convenience, C & K Rentals Ltd. In addition, the First Nations reserve of Miawpukek Mi’Kamawey Mawi omi also has a qualified location in Conne River.