Cannabis NB Blamed its $2M First Quarter Loss on the Illicit Market

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Raids on unlicensed dispensaries are heating up across the country.

But according to New Brunswick’s Crown cannabis corporation Cannabis NB, illicit dispensaries remain the legal industry’s’ greatest competitor.

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Cannabis NB lost $11.7M in its first six months, then followed that by reporting a $2.2M loss for the first quarter of 2019. The University of New Brunswick Saint John is now offering a third year cannabis research course exploring Cannabis NB’s continued difficulties.

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After Cannabis NB’s first posted loss, Progressive Conservative Premier Blaine Higgs flirted with privatizing adult-use retail in the province, scaling down Cannabis NB, or bringing in third-party experts to run the Crown company.

This time, Finance Minister Ernie Steeves reported no decision will be made before 2020, but a spokesperson for Cannabis NB blamed illicit dispensaries for the corporation’s flagging profits.

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The spokesperson told CTV Atlantic, “The emergence of many illegal dispensaries—up to 40—throughout the province continues to be the biggest risk and threat to a safe, legal cannabis retail industry; and the continuing stabilization of the portfolio and having access to full product offering is improving but still not at our originally anticipated levels.”