Provincial Preview: Marijuana business opportunities abound in Nova Scotia

(This is the fifth installment in a collection over the subsequent few months that may take a look at the marijuana markets in every of Canada’s provinces and territories. Other installments: Alberta, New Brunswick, Ontario and Quebec.)

Nova Scotia could also be off-limits for retail marijuana entrepreneurs, however dig slightly deeper and an image emerges of a possible hotbed for different hashish business opportunities.

The province boasts tax credit that tremendously profit new companies.

It additionally has reasonably priced actual property and an ample, extremely educated workforce.

Within Nova Scotia, marijuana entrepreneurs could have the chance to take part in ancillary companies starting from cultivation gear and packaging to safety and authorized providers.

The province’s three present licensed hashish producers additionally may benefit, as may a brand new crop of smaller growers and MJ oil producers.

Fred Bergman, senior coverage analyst for Atlantic Provinces Economic Council, stated the Nova Scotia financial system has a lot to realize from hashish legalization.

“The potential is significant in Nova Scotia,” he stated, pegging the province’s marijuana-related market at probably 150 million Canadian dollars ($120 million) in annual pretax gross sales.

Bergman stated the province has a analysis and improvement tax credit score that’s interesting to hashish corporations as a result of it’s absolutely refundable.

In different phrases, you possibly can nonetheless get a verify from the federal government even in case you don’t flip a revenue — one thing that’s interesting when constructing a regulated business from the bottom up.

Nova Scotia-based startups additionally might probably save hundreds of thousands by means of fairness and enter tax credit.

Such incentives have already helped the province’s burgeoning marijuana business land a uncommon (on the time) inbound overseas funding.

“Nova Scotia offers many low-cost advantages and has access to many universities for human resources, training and research, as well as access to scientific research and development tax credits,” Australia’s Creso Pharma famous final yr when it purchased Halifax-based marijuana manufacturing applicant Mernova Medicinal.

Market snapshot

Nova Scotia is among the busiest markets in Canada for medical marijuana.

The province has the second-highest variety of affected person registrations in Canada as a ratio of its inhabitants – 1,080 registrations per 100,000 individuals. New Brunswick is subsequent with 802.

Demographics recommend Nova Scotia will proceed to be a rising marketplace for medical hashish:

  • Nova Scotia has the very best variety of army veterans in Canada per capita, at four,500 per 100,000 individuals.
  • The province can also be tied with New Brunswick with the nation’s oldest inhabitants, with about 20% of its residents being seniors.
  • A Health Canada survey discovered that the typical medical hashish affected person spends CA$121 in a typical month.

Aggregate adult-use hashish consumption in the province after legalization will in all probability vary between 30,000 kilograms (33 tons) per yr to 50,000 kilograms per yr — relying closely on how a lot of the black market the province can deliver into the regulated fold, in line with authorities and personal estimates.

The provincial marijuana wholesaler will probably be trying to native and regional licensed producers to lock up provide, which might imply huge business for the province’s three LPs: Breathing Green Solutions, THC Inc. and Aqualitas.

Zero retail opportunities

The Nova Scotia authorities plans to introduce laws this spring that may regulate leisure marijuana gross sales alongside alcohol in government-run shops.

Privately owned companies won’t be allowed to take a position in retail opportunities for the foreseeable future.

Like different cities in Canada, Halifax has struggled to curtail unlawful dispensaries.

Last summer time, the town council voted to provoke a course of to think about amending bylaws to permit for business manufacturing and dispensaries.

Education and ancillary

Despite retail being a no-go for entrepreneurs and commonplace cultivation licenses taking years to accumulate, ample MJ business opportunities exist.

As in different provinces, analysts notice that ancillary opportunities exist in greenhouse gear, safety providers, delivery and distribution, advertising/branding, authorized and accounting providers.

Evan Price, president and co-founder of the late-stage manufacturing applicant Truro Herbal, suggests opportunities additionally exist in info and schooling.

“Whether that’s through a doctor’s office or private clinic or a private company, there’s a real big opportunity in anything that helps facilitate better use of the product,” he stated.

He factors to counseling, personal courses and software program providers as examples.

As with different provinces, Canada’s newly proposed licensing system comes with a number of opportunities up and down the availability chain.

Some opportunities would exist for:

  • Micro-cultivation license holders might be licensed for a similar actions as commonplace growers, however on a smaller scale.
  • Nursery license holders could possibly be permitted to supply seeds and seedlings, together with clones, on the market to different licensed producers and researchers.
  • Microprocessing license holders might produce hashish oil on the market to different LPs and researchers. The similar license may even permit for packaging and labeling product gross sales to the general public.


Price stated the province has main benefits for native cultivators, together with reasonably priced water, land and extremely educated individuals.

With 10 universities for simply 700,000 individuals, the province’s greater schooling is one other massive benefit for hashish corporations there.

“Having all these colleges in the province is a big advantage because there’s a highly educated and skilled workforce that any employer can tap into,” stated Price.

More producers are in the pipeline. Some of these embrace:

  • Vida Cannabis, in Stellarton
  • Aqualitas, in Liverpool
  • International Herbs and Medical Marijuana, in Stellarton
  • Robinson’s Cannabis, in Kentville
  • Prime Pot, in Port Hawkesbury and Dartmouth
  • Mernova Medicinal, in Halifax

“There’s great opportunity for companies to provide high-quality product at a fair price,” Price stated.

“And having lower capital expenses in Nova Scotia gives us the ability to compete on price and gives up flexibility to meet the market in different ways.”

Bill Sanford, chairman of licensed producer Breathing Green Solutions, additionally touted the province’s educational credentials:

“We have incredibly talented and educated people to choose from.”

Matt Lamers might be reached at [email protected]

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