HALIFAX -- The New Brunswick government announced Friday it will not sell Cannabis NB, ending well over a year of speculation. The province’s private bidding process for the privatization of recreational cannabis, started in November 2019, has been discontinued. In January 2020, the province said it had received proposals from eight companies. New Brunswick’s Department of Finance said further details about the short-listed proponents or their proposals would not be disclosed to protect the commercial confidentiality of the process and of the private sector participants. "While we were pleased with the level of interest and engagement from the private sector, Cannabis NB's performance over the past few months, as well as careful consideration of the social and economic implications of the retail model, has given us confidence that New Brunswick taxpayers and consumers can be well served through continued improvements within the current model," said Finance and Treasury Board Minister Ernie Steeves, in a news release. In a statement, Premier Blaine Higgs acknowledged Cannabis NB employees. "I thank the staff of Cannabis NB and all of the proponents for their patience as we have navigated this process through the COVID-19 pandemic," said Higgs.