Government in Late Final-Stage Negotiations With Potential Cannabis NB Buyer

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CANNABIS Government in late final-stage negotiations with potential Cannabis NB buyer By Silas Brown Global News WATCH: New information on where the possible sale of Cannabis NB stands was revealed at the public accounts committee Thursday. The province's top civil servant says negotiations with a potential buyer have been ongoing since October and are nearing conclusion. But that doesn't necessarily mean the corporation will be sold. Silas Brown has the story. Leave A Comment Share This Item On Facebook Share This Item On Twitter Send This Page To Someone Via Email Share This Item Descrease article font size - A Increase article font size A + The decision on whether Cannabis NB will be sold, or kept, draws closer as the government continues negotiations with a potential suitor.

The decision on whether Cannabis NB will be sold, or kept, draws closer as the government continues negotiations with a potential suitor.

According to Cheryl Hansen, clerk of the executive council and deputy minister of the Department of Finance and Treasury Board, the province has been in negotiations with a buyer since the fall.

“In October of 2020 the negotiations started with the top-ranked proponent and we are in the final stages of negotiations at this time,” Hansen told the public accounts committee on Thursday.

The government issued a request for proposals in November of 2019 after Cannabis NB lost millions in its first year of operation. But the last 15 months have seen a change in fortunes for the once-ailing Crown corporation.

So far this fiscal year it’s moved $62 million worth of product for a net profit of $8.3 million. Total profits are expected to eclipse $10 million after more than a year straight of profitability.

But the advanced stage of negotiations does not mean a sale is inevitable. Hansen said the province can still elect to keep Cannabis NB in the end.

“Because we’re negotiating now does not imply that this is a done deal and this will be sold,” she said.

Interim Liberal leader Roger Melanson is not convinced, however.

“You don’t negotiate if you don’t want to get to the original purpose, which was to sell Cannabis NB,” he said.

Premier Blaine Higgs admitted that newfound profitability was one of the factors slowing down the request for proposal (RFP) process in December, saying the province was looking to determine if the increase in sales was sustainable, or a pandemic-driven mirage.

Melanson believes the advanced stage of negotiations despite the profits for provincial coffers suggests that the Crown corporation will ultimately be sold.

Read the full article here.

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