Half of the 20 retail cannabis stores in New Brunswick did not open on Monday morning as the result of a shortage of marijuana.
Cannabis NB, the Crown corporation and sole retailer of legalized cannabis in the province, says that several of its stores ran short on stock over the weekend ahead of deliveries on Monday and Tuesday.
“[This weekend] we only had to close the one store for a few hours, and another store for a day,” said Marie-Andrée Bolduc, a spokesperson for Cannabis NB, in an email.
But shortages persisted and on Monday, 10 stores did not open. Those include:
Cannabis NB says that the temporary closures are sometimes required to allow for new inventory to arrive.
“We understand this is not an ideal situation for customers, however in order to keep offering a positive, effective customer service, we want to make sure we have at least a variety of products to offer to customers,” Bolduc said.
“We expect supply levels to eventually normalize, however, the demand is consistent, and supply is a challenge.”
Cannabis NB had ordered a full slate of products, but logisitical and supply issues resulted in the Crown corporation receiving only 20 to 30 per cent of the cannabis it had ordered.
Monday’s closure is just one example of a recent shortage that has exemplified a newly legalized market strained to its limit. Shortages across the country have been common.
Legal production capacity has yet to scale up to meet demand, which itself has several causes, the federal government’s slow pace in approving growers among them.
Multiple shipments are scheduled for this week, Cannabis NB said, and they hope their store hours will return to normal.
— With a file from Patrick Cain
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