Opportunities NB discusses growth plan for province’s cannabis industry
New Brunswick’s economic development agency held a media briefing Wednesday to discuss growth plans for cannabis industries in the province.
The provincial government has been working with Opportunities NB since the federal government announced it would pursue the legalization of marijuana to position New Brunswick as a leader in the sector.
Opportunities NB CEO Stephen Lund said there’s little doubt that the province’s cannabis industry has enormous potential.
“We believe that New Brunswick can be a leader in the cannabis sector and in many ways that’s already the case,” said Lund.
Based on averaged industry forecasts, Lund said recreational cannabis sales in New Brunswick could quickly reach $150 million annually, with ancillary markets adding another $440 million.
“We know how the industry is perceived internationally and locally,” said Lund. “We’ve met with a number of companies… all the key players in the sector across the country and the US, throughout Europe, so we have a good idea of what’s happening now, what will happen and where opportunities are.”
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Opportunities NB senior director Steve Milbury said this is the time to make sure companies focused on the science of developing pharmaceutical products for the cannabis industry take a leadership role and are recognized around the world.
“We don’t want to lose focus of what the real opportunity is which is to develop high paying jobs in an industry at the beginning of its infancy and we have a real opportunity,” Milbury said.
He added that the European medicinal market is going to be an extremely large market in the future.
“We have an opportunity to leverage the companies that are here, and work with them to get them into that export market because today these countries that are much larger than New Brunswick are going to have a need for the knowledge, the capacity, all those sorts of things going forward,” Milbury said.
Lund said they are working with nine companies that are currently going through the Health Canada approval process to become licensed producers and says they’ve been in contact with more than 50 companies that are interested in establishing themselves in New Brunswick.
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