Cannabis

Not high enough: low online sales could see NSLC cannabis store expansion

Nova Scotia may expand NSLC cannabis stores in the coming months to fill in sales gaps

New cannabis stores could be coming to the Annapolis Valley and the South Shore, Nova Scotia’s Finance Minister Karen Casey said Thursday.

Casey said the province expected online purchases would account for 10 per cent of total sales, but it ended up being around six per cent. As a result, the province is considering new stores where there is demand.

“We believed online would address some of those areas in the province where there was a gap,” said Casey.

“We’ve recognized that to date it has not materialized. So, we have to look at how can we get out to other areas, if online is not going to bring the consumer in.”

Casey said the province has asked the NSLC to look into expanding its 12 retail locations, but she didn’t know how many or where these locations would be.

“I think online is certainly providing the information that we wanted to get out to consumers,” she said. “The education component of it, the products that are available; I don’t think there’s any interest right now to change what we have online.”

Casey said sale gaps were around the South Shore and the Annapolis Valley, and that those areas were the least represented by a retail store.

As an MLA for a rural constituency, Colchester North, Casey said she hasn’t been told of any supply or location issues. She said the closest NSLC to her area was in Truro.

Online sales might be low, but Casey said the province still wants to maintain a balance between online and in-store options.

“It’s just a matter of where a consumer wants to make their purchase,” she said.