Nfld. & Labrador

No cannabis vaping products, bigger cut of sales for retailers: N.L. government

The provincial government is boosting the commission percentages for licensed cannabis retailers and banning cannabis vape products in Newfoundland and Labrador for now.

Too many unanswered questions when it comes to vaping, government says

The N.L. government says it will not allow cannabis vape products to be introduced right now, in order to protect people's health. (Tony Dejak/The Associated Press)

The provincial government is announcing changes for businesses that sell marijuana in this province, and banning a product not yet on the market. 

Starting Jan. 1, certain licensed cannabis retailers will see a bigger commission on the products they sell. 

The proposed changes apply only to Tier 1 licensed cannabis retailers awarded through the Newfoundland and Labrador Liquor Corporation's request for proposals.

The changes will see:

  • 12 per cent commission on the first $1 million of sales per calendar year.
  • 10 per cent commission on sales between $1 million and $1.5 million per calendar year.
  • Eight per cent commission on all sales above $1.5 million.

Right now, businesses get eight per cent commission on all sales. 

The higher commission rates come after government spoke with retailers about "the challenges facing the industry and future growth opportunities," said the release. 

The upfront costs and investment for the Tier 1 stories was significantly higher, said Finance minister Tom Osborne at a news conference Wednesday.

"Because they needed additional storage, they needed additional security ...The only product they really rely on is either cannabis or cannabis related products," Osborne said.

"We understand that these particular stores, because of the increased investment, were at risk."

The NLC also announced new deals with marijuana producers, based in Canada. 

Those are:

  • 7 Acres.
  • Auxly/Doescann.
  • Figr.
  • Hexo.
  • Truss Beverages.
  • TerrAscend.
  • The Green Organic Dutchman.

No cannabis vape products in N.L.

The provincial government says it will not allow cannabis vape products in Newfoundland and Labrador to be introduced for now. 

Reports of lung diseases associated with vaping need more analysis by experts to figure out exact cause, but many of the cases involve vaping cannabis, said government. 

Finance Minister Tom Osborne, left, and Health Minister John Haggie spoke with the media following the announcement that cannabis products will not be allowed to be introduced in Newfoundland and Labrador. (Jeremy Eaton/CBC)

"This is a door we don't need to open," Health Minister John Haggie said. "We have not a situation where cannabis vaping products are as yet legal."

Haggie hopes the move can be part of a national initiative on cannabis vaping products. He hopes to meet with the federal minister responsible for the file by the end of the week.

Thomas H. Clarke is one of the licensed sellers of marijuana who said government was taking too big of a cut when it came to sales. (Eddy Kennedy/CBC)

The government said it wants more information and the results of any clinical evidence before it will consider allowing the products in the province. 

"The aim of these measures is to protect public health while also supporting local retailers," states the media release. 

Read more from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador

With files from Jeremy Eaton and Stephanie Kinsella

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