Nova Scotia announced Friday the province is opening 14 new cannabis retail locations to battle the illicit market and to close the geographical gaps between stores.
Legal sales have failed to take off and that’s largely because Nova Scotians can’t easily access the 12 Nova Scotia Liquor Corp. stores, the province said.
While stores are spread out across the province there’s still one store to every 81,000 Nova Scotians.
The province allows for online cannabis sales, but to shop on the NSLC website Maritimers need an access code, which they can only get by visiting a brick and mortar store and having their age verified.
“We have recognized that online sales so far have not addressed areas of the province where there was a gap and it is apparent that new customers want the in-store experience,” Finance and Treasury Board Minister Karen Casey said in a statement. “We feel that opening more stores is the most effective way to deal with the illicit market, protect our children and keep communities safe.”
Legal sales brought in just under $66,000 in 2019, which is the third-highest per capita spend at $68, according to Statistics Canada.
Construction on the new stores, which will range from 200 to 1,000 square feet will begin as soon as possible, the province said. All stores will open by the end of the next fiscal year, with some ready as early as fall 2020, it added.
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