Rogers calls for cannabis retail model that will be viable for small business
The NDP Critic for Tourism, Culture, Industry and Innovation Gerry Rogers (MHA, St. John’s Centre) says government’s cannabis plan is utter chaos and prohibitive to establishing Tier 1 retailers.
Rogers says government committed to no co-location with alcohol except in extenuating circumstances and that local businesses would be the major retailers for cannabis. While government issued a request for proposals, Rogers says they still haven’t told prospective retailers what the selling price will be, only that they will get an eight per cent commission.
“No viable business can work like this. I ask the Minister, what will the NLC be paying Canopy Growth for a gram of cannabis? What is NLC establishing as the retail price? And when were they planning to tell prospective retailers?” Rogers said during Question Period.
Rogers says the proposed licensing rules have restrictions on location and the small commission of eight per cent make it impossible for retailers to cover costs including overhead, insurance, extra security, trained staffing, let alone make a profit. She says it will be impossible for Tier 1 retailers to provide this type of optimal service.
“The only viable cannabis business will be the large multi-national invited in by this government to produce and sell cannabis,” Rogers said.
“I ask the Minister, will he cancel the RFP and work with local small business to come up with a retail model that will allow them to be viable?”