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First day of legalization in New Brunswick nets half a million dollars in pot sales

Sackville's Cannabis NB outlet was a busy spot on opening day last Wednesday.
Sackville's Cannabis NB outlet was a busy spot on opening day last Wednesday. - Scott Doherty

Inventory was lower than anticipated in opening week due to supply issues

Cannabis sales reached over half a million dollars in New Brunswick on the first day of legalization last Wednesday.

Cannabis NB released its figures today for the first 48 hours of sales across the province, with in-store purchases totalling more than $520,398 on Oct. 17 and $352,360 on Oct. 18. Online sales for those days totalled $51,442 and $19,641 respectively.

“The sales of the first 48 hours were, overall, what we expected,” said Cannabis NB president and CEO Brian Harriman, in a statement on Oct. 24.

Areas with the largest in-store sales were in Fredericton/Oromocto, which brought in nearly $173,000 in sales in the first two days, Saint John/Rothesay, which sold over $148,000 worth of product, and Moncton/Dieppe, which had about $145,000 in sales.

Harriman also noted retail stores in communities bordering other provinces, such as Sackville and Campbellton, have also seen higher-than-expected demand because of customers coming from other provinces. Cannabis NB did not provide specific breakdowns of sales per store.

Harrriman said in planning for the launch, Cannabis NB had ordered a full portfolio of products to sufficiently stock its stores. Unfortunately, due to last-minute logistical and other issues encountered by licensed producers, Cannabis NB did not receive its full shipment as ordered. He said retailers across the country are experiencing a similar situation.

“This is new for all provinces across the country,” said Harriman. “Overall, I am very pleased with how things have rolled out as we enter a new legalized channel of retail.”

Cannabis NB will continue to closely monitor inventory throughout the 20 retail stores across the province and work with suppliers to get inventory to normal levels.

“Based on planned shipments, and dependent on orders arriving in full in the next few days and weeks, store closures in the near term are not anticipated,” he said.

Harriman also explained the factors that go into pricing, including distribution, volume and available product options in each province. He said Cannabis NB developed its product portfolio to offer a range of price options for customers, and to ensure that lower-priced options were available in that spectrum.

“Given the supply challenge, Cannabis NB does not currently have its full planned portfolio available. However, once fully implemented, there will be a broader range of price points.”

Harriman said he is proud of Cannabis NB’s retail teams across the province, noting the feedback they have been receiving from customers has been very positive “as our guides have delivered a positive educational customer experience.”

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