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NSLC puts out call for potential cannabis suppliers

Crown corporation posts ‘a wide sweep’ to gauge supplier interest

3 min read
caption Cannabis is set to be legalized in Canada in July 2018.
Caitlin Leonard
caption The NSLC has put out a call for cannabis suppliers to prepare for legalization on July 1.
Caitlin Leonard

The Nova Scotia Liquor Corporation wants to hear from potential suppliers about when, how much and what sort of cannabis products they can provide.  

In a tender posted on Thursday, the NSLC wants information from suppliers regarding dried flowers or buds, pre-rolled joints, clones and seeds, oils and accessories ahead of the drug’s legalization this summer. The NSLC will accept tenders from across the country, as it works to fulfill its new mandate as the sole retailer of recreational cannabis in Nova Scotia.

“This is a wide sweep to find out what the industry has to offer,” said Beverly Ware, NSLC communications adviser.

“We’d be looking at everywhere from small local producers to larger regional or national producers, anybody who has interest in doing business with us. We’re reaching out and would like to hear from them.”

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The NSLC will be making formal expressions of interest in February, but hasn’t released a timeline of when it will start buying cannabis or what the quantity will be.

“We’ve been working hard to finalize the plans to sell recreational cannabis in select stores and online,” said Ware. “But obviously securing a reliable supply of cannabis is at the top of our list of priorities.”

Ware said that the NSLC has begun developing training and education programs for employees in order to get ready for the July 1 deadline.

“Staff will be learning about the product,” she said. “They need to be able to be knowledgeable in talking about the product with customers.”

Myrna Gillis, the CEO of Aqualitas, one of three licensed cannabis producers in the province, said they will be responding to the tender.

“We would likely participate in all categories, but we don’t currently have anything ear marked under accessories,” she said Thursday.

Gillis added that the NSLC is in a good position to sell cannabis because of its experience as “a socially responsible” distributor of alcohol.

“Certainly from a distribution standpoint, in sense of checking IDs and having secure storage space, obviously they have a tremendous amount of experience in that,” she said.

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