FREDERICTON – Eight proposals have been received in response to the government’s request for proposals (RFP) for the operation, distribution and sales of recreational cannabis in New Brunswick.
“The strong interest in our RFP demonstrates that entrepreneurs from across Canada are ready to invest in New Brunswick,” said Finance and Treasury Board Minister Ernie Steeves. “Opening this new sector of activity to business is a tangible example of our government’s commitment to energize the private sector.”
Interested proponents had until Jan. 10 to submit proposals. The province received proposals from the following organizations:
- Canopy Growth Corp., Ont.;
- Fire & Flower Inc., Alta.;
- Green Stop Cannabis Ltd., N.S.;
- Loblaw Companies Ltd., Ont.;
- New Brunswick Association of Cannabis Distributors, N.B.;
In the coming weeks, the proposals will be evaluated through an open, fair and accountable process overseen by a third-party fairness monitor. This exercise could result in the announcement of the successful single private operator in spring 2020, with transition to the new delivery model later this year.
The proposals will be evaluated according to the criteria established in the RFP, such as experience in the sale of recreational cannabis, financial capacity, a viable plan to combat the illegal market, consumer protection through price competitiveness and product diversity, and an approach to build strong, direct and indirect partnerships with local entrepreneurs and First Nations. The government will also require a strong financial offer from the successful proponent for the sales rights for cannabis.
Once the preferred proponent is identified, the government will enter into negotiations to finalize an agreement. Should the two parties fail to reach an agreement during negotiations, the government can end the process and choose to explore other options.
“We will be diligently reviewing the submissions in order to identify the overall best proposal that focuses on public health, education and safety and offers the best value for the New Brunswick taxpayers,” said Steeves.
Energizing the private sector is among the government’s key priorities. More information about government’s priorities and measurements is available online.
Vicky Deschenes, communications, Department of Finance and Treasury Board, [email protected]