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New Brunswick receives 8 proposals to privatize cannabis sales 

The exterior of a Cannabis NB retail store is shown in Fredericton, N.B., on Tuesday October 16, 2018.
The exterior of a Cannabis NB retail store is shown in Fredericton, N.B., on Tuesday October 16, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Stephen MacGillivray

The New Brunswick government has received eight responses to a request for proposals for the operation, distribution and sales of recreational cannabis in the province.

READ MORE: Health Canada issues recall for cannabis oil capsules sold in New Brunswick

The government issued the call for proposals in November, saying that losses incurred by Cannabis NB – the provincial cannabis corporation – persuaded the government it was time to turn to the private sector.

Finance Minister Ernie Steeves says the interest shows entrepreneurs are ready to invest in New Brunswick.

Future of NB Cannabis stores questioned under private model
Future of NB Cannabis stores questioned under private model

The province received two proposals each from companies or groups in New Brunswick, Ontario, and Alberta and one each from companies in Nova Scotia and British Columbia.

The proposals will be evaluated in the coming weeks through a process that the province says will be overseen by a third-party fairness monitor.

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READ MORE: Why New Brunswick loses money selling weed, and what the lessons are

This exercise could result in the announcement of a private operator this spring, with transition to the new delivery model later in the year.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 13, 2020.