The government of New Brunswick, Canada has signed a memorandum of understanding with licensed producer Zenabis to provide 4,000 kilograms (8,818.5 pounds) of cannabis and derivative products with a retail value between C$40 to $50 million.
The announcement comes on the heels of the government unveiling their legal cannabis industry operations proposal that would see a subsidiary of NB Liquor run the industry. The government plans to open 20 retail shops in 16 communities along with online sales.
This is the third deal struck by officials and cannabis cultivators, as they have reached previous agreements with Organigram and Canopy Growth Corp. The agreements make the province the first in the nation to secure supply for consumers as the country migrates from federal medical to adult cannabis use.
“We are committed to ensuring the legalization of cannabis is introduced in a safe and secure way so we can get cannabis out of the hands of our youth and the proceeds from selling cannabis out of the hands of criminals,” said Premier Brian Gallant in a press release.
Zenabis CEO Kevin Coft said the agreement – more than six months before the legal regime is expected to come online – will allow the company to make “the necessary investments in machinery and equipment” to meet the processing demands. According to a Vancouver Sun report, the contract will eventually create 450 new jobs at Zenabis’ Atholville, NB plant.
“Most importantly, this announcement will help provide stable jobs and employment in this region,” he said in a statement. “The Government of New Brunswick should be commended for its forward thinking with regards to the cannabis industry.”