(This is the eighth installment in a collection wanting on the marijuana markets in every of Canada’s provinces and territories. Other installments: Alberta, British Columbia, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Quebec and Saskatchewan.)

Entrepreneurs are tempering their as soon as sky-high expectations to capitalize on Newfoundland’s regulated hashish sector.

The province is the one place east of Manitoba the place privately owned companies shall be allowed to promote leisure hashish. But potential retailers face a serious hurdle: They’re restricted to an eight% markup.

Smaller companies could have a tough time given the strict laws and excessive compliance prices, based on Vaughn Hammond, director of the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB).

“What we’ve done in this province is shut out small business owners. The cannabis industry is going to be run by government and big business,” he stated.

Market snapshot

After adult-use legalization is carried out – anticipated late this summer time, one estimate from the Parliamentary Budget Office anticipates annual demand of 12,400 kilograms, when adjusted for Newfoundland’s working-age inhabitants. That quantity might rise to 13,800 kilograms by 2021.

The report suggests there could possibly be roughly 70,000 shoppers after legalization, rising to 76,800 by 2021.

The Parliamentary Budget Office estimates embrace the illicit and controlled markets.

Estimates from the personal sector, nevertheless, point out Newfoundland’s market could possibly be a lot greater.

The Marijuana Policy Group – a Denver firm that gives evaluation and coverage recommendation to non-public and authorities shoppers – advised Marijuana Business Daily that it sees market demand for leisure hashish of roughly 20,000 kilograms on an annual foundation – 40% larger than the federal government’s forecast.

Unlike close by Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, Newfoundland hasn’t seen a rush of medical hashish registrants.

Newfoundland’s 519 MMJ affected person registrations per 100,000 individuals is among the many lowest within the nation; Alberta’s 2,543 per 100,000 individuals is the very best.

Just beneath 2,750 individuals have been registered to make use of medical marijuana in Newfoundland in early 2018.


As of May, Newfoundland was the one province in Canada with out at the very least one licensed MMJ producer.

Five purposes are within the works:

  • Argentia Gold plans to finish its 80,000 sq. foot hashish facility in Placentia, Newfoundland, this fall.
  • Back Home Medical Cannabis goals to have 170,000 sq. ft of manufacturing area in operation within the St. George’s space by the top of 2019.
  • Oceanic Releaf is constructing a 63,000-square-foot facility within the Burin Peninsula.
  • Canopy Growth has introduced plans to finish a 150,000-square-foot manufacturing facility by fall 2019.
  • CEPG Consulting and Design (a subsidiary of Snellen Holdings) will apply for a supplier license, which can allow analysis and improvement.

Geography and a small native marketplace for leisure hashish are elements that may restrict cultivation alternatives within the province.


Newfoundland divvied retail licenses into 4 tiers:

  • Tier 1 licenses embrace stand-alone hashish shops.
  • Tier 2 is for shops with an enclosed space for hashish gross sales in bigger retail areas.
  • Tier three licenses cowl devoted service desks in bigger retail areas which might be separate from the primary money counter.
  • Tier four licenses are for gross sales behind a counter, hidden from view (for instance, how comfort shops promote tobacco merchandise).

Critics say the retail deck is stacked in favor of huge firms akin to Canopy Growth and Loblaw.

“If the profit margin is limited to 8%, then the retailer is only making 80 cents per CA$10 sale. If the sale is CA$7, the margin is only 49 cents for each gram that they sold,” CFIB’s Hammond famous.

The retailer then should pay tax on that slim margin, assuming a revenue is made.

“You’ll have to sell a lot of product to cover the expenses,” Hammond added.

That’s why specialists say being vertically built-in could possibly be essential to any Tier 1 retailer. Those companies can trim prices from different elements of the availability chain.

Licensees of Tier 2, three and four outlets, in the meantime, will be capable of complement low-margin leisure marijuana with gross sales of non-cannabis-related services.

“The only people that are going to be able to run a stand-alone store in Newfoundland is Canopy or other producers,” stated Jason Childs, affiliate professor of economics on the University of Regina in Saskatchewan. “Small retailers are going to have a problem. That’s the big wrinkle.”


While a scarcity of large-scale producers and the restricted markup on gross sales might be limiting, alternatives can be found to enterprising businesspeople.

Some embrace:

  • Cannabis-related tourism.
  • Security for pending retailers, wholesalers and cultivators.
  • Transportation for the availability chain.
  • Cannabis equipment in shops.

As with different provinces, Canada’s proposed licensing system will current a variety of alternatives for personal companies.

These embrace:

  • Micro-cultivation licenses for a similar actions as commonplace growers, however on a smaller scale.
  • Nursery licenses to supply seeds and seedlings, together with clones, on the market to different licensed producers and researchers.
  • Microprocessing licenses to supply hashish oil on the market to different LPs and researchers. The similar license would additionally permit for packaging and labeling product gross sales to the general public.

Kickbacks from province

Ontario-based Canopy Growth was the beneficiary of 40 million Canadian dollars ($31 million) in lowered gross sales remittances to help within the development of its manufacturing facility.

“It’s not technically a subsidy … it’s almost like an opportunity cost mechanism,” Canopy spokesman Jordan Sinclair stated in a earlier interview with MJBizDaily. “As we sell product into their provincial distribution system, they would normally take a markup on that.”

The authorities additionally put up CA$1 million in funding to develop a analysis and improvement program within the province.

Matt Lamers could be reached at [email protected]

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