Cannabis NB celebrates 12 straight months of profitability as decision on sale looms

New Brunswick's government-owned cannabis retailer is reporting a profit of 1.4 million dollars during it's first quarter this year. A Cannabis NB store in Sackville, N.B. is seen on Oct. 14, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan. The Canadian Press/Andrew Vaughan

Friday saw the Crown corporation in charge of cannabis sales in New Brunswick celebrate 12-straight months of profitability.

Cannabis NB president and CEO Patrick Parent said it marks an “important milestone” for the Crown corporation.

It’s also a dramatic turnaround for Cannabis NB, which lost almost $12.5 million in its first fiscal year, which included five months of legal cannabis in Canada.

Now, Parent says the Crown corporation has a net income of $6.1 million to date and it is forecast to finish the current fiscal year with a net profit of more than $10 million.

“As the industry continues to evolve, we are constantly working with our suppliers, and listening to feedback from our customers to ensure we offer a wide selection of products at competitive prices,” said Parent in a statement.

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“As we head into Black Friday and the holiday season, our busiest time of year, we’re excited about what we have in store for our customers.”

But the news is tinged with a looming decision from the provincial government — will they sell the Crown corporation and permit a private company to take control of cannabis sales in the province?

Click to play video: 'New Brunswick calling in private operator to take over Cannabis NB'
New Brunswick calling in private operator to take over Cannabis NB

In 2019, Blaine Higgs’ PC government said the province was prepared to take cannabis sales private after Cannabis NB’s initial losses.

New Brunswick’s finance minister Ernie Steeves said at the time that a review would be conducted and a request for proposals (RFP) issued.

Eight companies eventually submitted proposals in response to the RFP.

Premier Blaine Higgs told Global News that a decision on the sale of Cannabis NB would be ready once his cabinet was sworn in, which occurred on Oct. 1, but nearly two full months later the province has still not made a decision.

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In a brief statement received Friday, a spokesperson for New Brunswick’s finance and treasury board said the government will have an update on the Cannabis NB RFP “in the near future.”

That’s the same answer the government provided to Global News on Oct. 1.

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