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New Brunswick Announces $90 Million Cannabis Buy

September 18, 2017
(DenisTangneyJr/iStock)
Among the many questions facing Canadian provinces as the country speeds toward its July 1 cannabis-legalization deadline: Where will all this freshly legal recreational cannabis come from?
Late last week, New Brunswick stepped up with an answer, announcing multimillion-dollar deals with a pair of federally licensed medical marijuana producers. New Brunswick’s Organigram Holdings will supply the province with five million grams of cannabis a year, and Ontario’s Canopy Growth Corp. will provide an additional four million grams per year.

Together, the two producers will sell New Brunswick over $90 million worth of cannabis annually. “As part of their supply agreements with New Brunswick, Canopy and Organigram said they will help fund public education or social programs,” reports the Financial Post. (The Post also notes that shares of both Canopy and Organigram rose on the day of the deal’s announcement, “closing up by 2.09 per cent and 16.74 per cent, respectively.”)

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Speaking to CBC News, Canopy Growth president Mark Zekulin expressed excitement about “one of the biggest drug deals in Canadian history,” while Organigram CEO Greg Engel noted the deal will require his company to double its number of employees over the next six to eight months.

Along with its humongous cannabis buy, New Brunswick also announced the creation of a new Crown corporation that will oversee—but not conduct—cannabis sales. “[T]he creation of this new provincial Crown corporation provides the flexibility and lays the groundwork for the eventual retail model once final decisions around that have been made,” Provincial Finance Minister Cathy Rogers said in a press release.

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This “Crown corporation” model has already drawn criticism, with Tory MLA Ross Wetmore telling the CBC that such a model requires the government to assume the costs of distribution and all liability for sales. “We don’t know how the sales are going to go, it’s going to be legal all across the country,” he said. “People aren’t going to flock to New Brunswick.”

Meanwhile, the New Brunswick Medical Society praised the arrangement as the best approach for regulating recreational cannabis sales. “We reiterate our recommendation that, unlike NB Liquor, the corporation managing the sale of cannabis should not be profit-driven or subject to a profit target established by the provincial government,” said Dr. Dharm Singh, president-elect of the society, in a statement to the CBC.

Stay tuned for specifics on how and where New Brunswick’s $90 million worth of cannabis will be sold (and for how much).

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Dave Schmader

Dave Schmader is the author of the book "Weed: The User's Guide." Follow him on Twitter @davidschmader

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  • Turner Kayston

    Both companies have already lied to and then poisoned some of their medical “customers”, using unapproved chemicals unsuited for human consumption and now they’ll be poisoning a profusion of unknowing sheeple, thanks to the monopolistic government.

    For those who are on top of the public information that’s available on this, we’re now to date at 20 approved sprays by Health Canada (truly sickening). Most of which, when following the links, literally have 99% unknown ingredients / chemicals.

    No thank you and hopefully the black market flourishes in spite of this ‘authorized crime’.

    In any case, the upcoming legislation has proposed more criminal elements into legislation than we have now and the governments are going to be spending a prodigious sum of tax dollars on “enforcing” their crazy version of pseudo-legalization, the complete reverse of what legalization should be. What a joke, calling this prohibition 2.0, legalization – pffft!

    Pure sadism, as Marc Emery gracefully put it during the recent hearings.

    Watching the HESA Hearing – Bill C-45, Cannabis Act – Day Four, it was made very clear to all the political members, at various times, by many credible sources, that “Cannabis is no where near as harmful as other drugs, such as tobacco and alcohol.”

    Yet, the confounded political members still continued to promulgate their dogma, by conflating the harms and dangers of tobacco, correlating those to Cannabis, while ignoring the very serious harms of alcohol altogether. They’re going to be doing more harm to society and youth than they have in the last 100 years of prohibition, it’s in-effing-sane!

    A little transcription from the video:

    –snip–

    (…)
    Don Davies: “What does the research establish about the known health effects of Cannabis. What do we know?”

    Dr. Hammond: “… the scientific consensus which is, it causes less population level harm than tobacco and alcohol and that should not be confused with the fact that it’s harmless. Tobacco [not cannabis] causes a range of harms to unborn children, …”

    Don Davies: “The task farce concurs with that, they said quite clearly that Cannabis is not known to have as serious health consequences as tobacco or alcohol …”, “Is Cannabis known to be a carcinogen?”

    Dr. Hammond: “To my knowledge, there is no known carcinogens …”
    (…)

    –snip–

    Never do they talk about the benefits of Cannabis when used for recreational or non-critical medical purposes, only reefer madness.

  • Contrarian

    Thanks, got the wrong info, cheers

    • quirk

      Revisit the numbers- 9 million grams/ $ 90 million = About what I pay.

  • Wayne Jory

    I was poisoned by this company’s “certified organic” products. I wouldn’t use their cannabis for livestock feed, it’s garbage, as is their customer support.

    • Turner Kayston

      By “certified organic”, I think what they meant was that it’s an organic plant, as in not a plastic or rubber one.

      Perhaps grown with a hand-sprinkle of “certified organic” earth, on-top of their chemical substrate.

      • Wayne Jory

        When I called Ecocert Canada, the ones that certified Organigram, they told me that they had only certified the growing process, not the product, and that Organigram had no right to label their product as being certified organic. When some of us sent our unopened containers of Organigram product for independent testing at a government approved lab, the results that came back were sickening. The lab tested for over 1000 chemicals, instead of the 50 that Health Canada requires. They found a neurotoxin used for lawns and shrubs but banned for use on food since the 1960’s. Terbucarb is the name of it. A quick Google search reveals why it was banned; it was killing birds. The lab also pointed out that the concentrations found on the product could not have gotten there through the soil, it was sprayed directly on the buds. The Globe and Mail published an in depth article about this, and a month later the NB government signs this contract with Organiscam. Organigram has been doing business as usual, and offered the affected clients a 20% discount on their next purchase. Like any of us suffering the effects of their negligence would ever trust their products again. Fool me once…

        • Turner Kayston

          Looks like my other comment got marked as spam for some reason. But, wow, that’s very disturbing, yet vital to know. You should go on as a guest to one of the Canadian activist shows…

          Health Canada only wags a finger and their solutions seem to just simply be, ‘approve more sprays’, problem solved.

          Are you familiar with Freddie Pritchard and his open letter about the Health Canada 20+ approved sprays? Complete with links to the ingredients from the manufacturers, some of which contain “99% unknown ingredients” – perhaps even that terbucarb chemical…

          • Wayne Jory

            Thanks Turner, I read the open letter to HC and reposted it to our FB group “Action Against Organigram”.

          • Wayne Jory

            I was interviewed by The Globe and Mail, they did an in-depth report on the testing that contradicted OGI’s claims of only trace amounts of pesticides. CBC is doing a piece too. But legalization is Canada’s new gold rush, and no one wants to hear how it’s failing. I’ve contacted all the investigative news agencies, and not one of them wanted to pick up this story. When I requested the original test results of the recalled products from Health Canada, I was sent 6 pages of blacked out results. What were they hiding, and why? I’m still fighting them for those results under the freedom of information act, which they have no right to hold back because it’s health related information. Those results will be made public by me when I receive them sometime in the new year.

          • Turner Kayston

            Was that G&M report released, that’s so great what you’ve done!

            Someone like you would be such a great guest to hear on so many of the Canadian activist shows.

            Please, do keep us all posted…

          • Wayne Jory

            The Globe and Mail did their piece on us in Aug. It was a weekend edition, front page. The article was lengthily, showing graphs and charts. Organigram’s samples that were tested, didn’t match the independent testing we did with our left over sealed batch lots. They accused us of tampering with the cannabis before sending it off to be tested. That’s the first thing the lab checks for is any tampering, which there was none. So the question is; did someone at Organigram swap out their samples and reseal the containers with product that had less chemicals, because their tests showed completely different results than ours. They stand to lose millions, we are only asking for a refund, who do you think has more reason and access to switch ingredients in the samples? The containers are factory sealed in plastic bottles with aluminum foil sealing the top. It takes some sort of machine to seal them properly, they have that machine, we, the customers, don’t have any access to one. There are many of us that are willing to speak with any media about this. We have nothing to hide.
            I’ll post here with any new developments, but in the meantime, anyone that wants more info or support can join our FB group: Action Against Organigram. Anything to do with this case is being posted there first.
            Thanks