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Newfoundland looks to add more cannabis retail stores, improve delivery times for online ordering

ver the past year, cannabis purchasing habits in Newfoundland and Labrador have mirrored growth in the entire country, which saw sales peak last December before falling in the first month of 2021.

But sales in Newfoundland and Labrador have increased despite long delivery times and a strike that affected more than half the province’s 30 cannabis retailers, reports CBC.

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According to Bruce Keating, president and CEO of the Newfoundland and Labrador Liquor Corporation (NLC), he expects that momentum to continue as the NLC works to add more retail stores and improve delivery times for online ordering.

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Keating told CBC that the NLC is aiming to increase the number of retail stores by 50 per cent.

Even with most stores concentrated in the St. John’s metro area, about 98 per cent of legal cannabis purchased in the province in the last year was done in-person, rather than online.

Currently, an online order can take up to nine days to arrive, but has taken as long as 21 days during the pandemic.

Keating said plans are underway to store cannabis products at a provincial distribution centre, which would allow the NLC to “guarantee delivery within 48 hours anywhere around the province.”

That would bring it in line with the Ontario Cannabis Store, the country’s largest cannabis distributor, which currently offers same-day and express delivery, but only in select regions. Remote areas of the province may need to wait up to 10 days for delivery.

In January 2021, the latest month on file from Statistics Canada, more than $4.5 million worth of cannabis products were purchased in Newfoundland and Labrador, a near 50 per cent increase from Jan. 2020.

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