Nfld. & Labrador

Flatrock pot shop rejects retail licence, says new rules bad for small business

One of the 24 retailers approved to sell marijuana has turned down its retail licence, saying N.L.'s rules favour large corporations.

Dee Dee's Shop owner says profit margins for standalone stores too slim

A proposed pot shop in Flatrock was approved to sell cannabis, but has decided to turn down the opportunity. (CBC)

One of 24 Newfoundland and Labrador retailers approved to sell marijuana once it is legal has turned down its retail license, saying the province's rules favour large corporations.

Dee Dee's Shop was approved by Cannabis N.L. to open a marijuana business in the Flatrock area of Newfoundland's Avalon Peninsula, but owner Danielle Campbell said it decided to decline the licence after doing some research.

"Although we feel Dee Dee's Shop would truly be offering a unique experience, society is not quite at the point where financially we could fairly compete with the 'corporations,'" Campbell wrote in a statement to CBC News.

Ten of the 24 locations approved to sell cannabis are at Dominion grocery stores. (Ted Dillon/CBC)

Cannabis N.L. picked 24 retailers out of 80 applications, but 10 of those will be located at Dominion grocery stores.

Most the locations are in what the province considers Tier 1, which are standalone stores restricted to people 19 and up, and Tier 4,  in which products are behind a counter and hidden from view, similar to how convenience stores sell tobacco.

The list also includes a Tier 2 designation, which is a 19-and-over enclosed area in larger retail space, and for Tier 3, for a dedicated service desk in a larger retail space, away from the main cash counter.

"A Tier 1 [business]  is going to have a difficult time in the marketplace; the profit margins are slim and customers will have lots of choices," Campbell wrote. 

"At the end of the day for us personally, it is about maintaining respect within our community. Thank you again for the opportunity. We wish all other proponents much luck."