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Local business shut out - Loblaw selected to sell marijuana in Grand Falls-Windsor

Dominion in Grand Falls-Windsor is undergoing the licensing process to become the town’s cannabis retailer.
Dominion in Grand Falls-Windsor is undergoing the licensing process to become the town’s cannabis retailer. - -File photo

Licensing process to take five to seven weeks to complete

GRAND FALLS-WINDSOR, NL – President of the Exploits Regional Chamber of Commerce Rob Sills was surprised and disappointed when he heard a large corporation was chosen as a cannabis retailer over a local business.

“We are, as a chamber, a supporter of local businesses,” said Sills. “It seems like mostly big business got it across the province.”

The Newfoundland and Labrador Liquor Corporation (NLC) announced May 7 the 24 retailers selected to advance to the next stage of becoming marijuana vendors. Loblaw Companies Limited is among them, and is undergoing the licensing process to sell cannabis at their Dominion location on Cromer Avenue, which is expected to take between five and seven weeks to complete.

“No matter what industry it is, if it’s being controlled by a large corporation outside the province, there is less of a local dollar being spent,” Sills said, adding that money spent at locally-owned stores tends to stay in the community.

“Will there be a benefit? There will be a small benefit, but it will be less than if it was owned by a mom and pop shop,” he said.

In total, 86 proposals were submitted across Newfoundland to become a retailer. Lorraine’s in Grand Falls-Windsor placed their bid, but were passed over in favour of the larger corporation.

“I think it’s a good thing, even though we applied for it,” said Lorraine O’Dea, owner of Lorraine’s on Loblaw being selected to sell marijuana. “We wanted it, and if another small business had gotten it, it probably would affect our business. But with Loblaws, I don’t think it’s going to.”

O’Dea added that she was initially disappointed when she found out her business hadn’t been selected.

“As a small business person, I kind of never thought they would give it to any small business anyway,” she said. “I can understand some places they had given it to a small business, like Flatrock, but there was probably no other big corporation out there to take it.”

O’Dea said she never expected her shop to be seriously considered to sell marijuana.

“We put in a lot of time, a lot of work. It’s a business plan, you’ve got to put a lot into it,” she said. “They want to know a lot about you as a business. I really, right from the beginning, kind of knew that a big corporation would get it.”

Here are the approved cannabis retailers from across Newfoundland and Labrador

  • The Healthy Vibe, 306 Water Street, St. John’s
  • Canopy Growth, 183 Water Street, St. John’s
  • The Herbal Centre, 394 Kenmount Road, St. John’s
  • Canopy Growth, 193 Kenmount Road, St. John’s
  • Loblaw, Blackmarsh Road, St. John’s
  • Loblaw, Stavanger Drive, St. John’s
  • Canopy Growth, 60 Eastland Drive, St. John’s
  • Cape d’Or Holdings, 1316 Topsail Road, St. John’s
  • Loblaw, 150 Old Placentia Road, Mount Pearl
  • Canopy Growth, 50 Commonwealth Avenue, Mount Pearl
  • The Healthy Vibe, 344 Conception Bay Highway, CB
  • Loblaw, 156 Conception Bay Highway, CBS
  • Canopy Growth, 81 Conception Bay Highway, CBS
  • Dee Dee’s Shoppe, 560 Windgap Road, Flatrock
  • Thomas H Clarke, 1614 Portugal Cove Road, PC-SP
  • Holyrood Medical, 386 CBS Highway, Holyrood
  • Loblaw, Main Highway, Bay Roberts
  • Loblaw, 120 Columbus Drive, Carbonear
  • C & K Rentals Ltd, 72 Marine Drive, Clarenville
  • Cape d’Or Holdings, 258 Memorial Drive, Clarenville
  • Loblaw, 100 Laurell Road, Gander
  • Miawpukek Mi’kamawey Mawi’omi, 19B Miawpukek Drive, Conne River
  • Loblaw, 17 Cromer Ave, Grand Falls-Windsor
  • Cape d’Or Holdings, 31 Upper Nicholsville Road, Deer Lake
  • Loblaw, 5 Murphy Square, Corner Brook
  • Canopy Growth, 62 Broadway Street, Corner Brook
  • Loblaw, 62 Prince Rupert Street, Stephenville
  • Tobin’s Convenience, 1 Neal Road, Labrador City

jordan.maloney@advertisernl.ca

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