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No qualified cannabis retailers listed on Great Northern Peninsula

St. Anthony business leaders don’t believe the cannabis industry will be profitable on the Great Northern Peninsula.
St. Anthony business leaders don’t believe the cannabis industry will be profitable on the Great Northern Peninsula. - File photo

Business leaders doesn’t believe industry will be profitable in region

ST. ANTHONY, N.L. – Investment in the cannabis industry is not looking profitable on the Great Northern Peninsula (GNP), according to St. Anthony business leaders.

Last week, Cannabis NL released its list of qualified licensed cannabis retailer applicants, but it did not contain a single enterprise on the GNP.

St. Anthony businessman Maurice Simmonds says, after some consideration, he decided not to apply as he doesn’t believe it would be profitable.

“From a business-perspective I couldn’t see where you could make any great amount of money unless you were in a big area and sold a lot of it, in something like a liquor store,” he told the Northern Pen.

Simmonds says the cost of operation would simply be too high, and there isn’t enough of a market in the area to make up for those losses.

“There’s a lot of work according to what I’ve read about monitoring, keeping other inventory straight and so on,” he said. “Like liquor, you have to sell a lot to make it profitable.

“I think there are a lot of restrictions, a lot of rules, that would create a lot of work.”

He also doesn’t believe legalizing it will prevent people from purchasing it illegally.

“They can continue to get it illegally and at a cheaper rate, and that’s the way it’s going to go,” he said. “I saw that as another deterrent.”

Simmonds doesn’t foresee anybody else picking it up in the area for the same reasons.

St. Anthony Mayor and St. Anthony and Area Chamber of Commerce president Desmond McDonald says the eight per cent commission is another deterrent for small businesses in rural communities.

“You’re gonna have to sell a lot of marijuana to make a business viable, especially if you got to rent space, renovate space, buy new equipment and stuff like that,” he said. “It’s going to be hard pressed to make any money off of something like that.”

The request for proposal for applications is being reissued and will be available online at shopcannabisnl.com.

stephen.roberts@northernpen.ca

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