New Brunswick producer announces province’s first cannabis farmgate store

| David Brown

Consumers in New Brunswick can now buy cannabis directly from the producer.

Located in Shediac Cape, cannabis producer Crystal Cure announced the opening of their cannabis farmgate store today.

In a press release, the company says that cannabis products grown or produced at their facility are now available for sale at their new retail store on-site called “Le Backdoor”. They will also be featuring products from local micro producer Golden Peak Cannabis.

“Our entire team is incredibly excited about this program, and we are grateful for the progressive leadership shown by Cannabis NB to make it happen here in New Brunswick,” says Jonathan Wilson, Crystal Cure’s CEO. “We had pegged this as being years away and put it on the back burner.”

“This now gives us an opportunity to talk to and engage with consumers that visit our location, and helps us find a home for wonderful products that may not be a fit for our retail and wholesale  partners across the country.” 

Cannabis NB surprised many in the industry when they announced last August that they would be allowing “on-site selling of in-house products for local LPs, nurseries, and micros”. The initial launch is somewhat of a pilot project to see how things go, explained Lara Wood, the VP of Operations at Cannabis NB, earlier this year. 

“We’re still evaluating the next step for the model overall. We’re doing a very simple farmgate program. We knew that a lot of our partners were really enthusiastic about it and it was a bit of a model expansion that we could move quickly on. But there will be more changes to the model and as we’re a couple of years into the program now, we’ll be evaluating what makes sense for customers and the industry next. This is the first step and then we’ll be able to share information as we go.”

Wilson says Crystal Cure is approaching their farmgate store with the same tiered approach. Sales will initially be done in their main office, encouraging consumers to shop online and place an order beforehand and plan on building a formal store in 2022 as part of a larger facility expansion.

“What we’re doing is kind of order ahead and come pick up,” he explains. “They can’t pay for it on the website, they have to finish the transaction at the facility, but they can go onto our website, learn about the products, put in an order there and then we fulfill it, come to the facility, and pay and pick it up there.”

Each week, Crystal Cure says it will send out information to consumers via their newsletter and social media channels letting them know what is available for purchase. Consumers can request to reserve product and pick-up/pay at the facility, or they can show up between 10am – 5pm, Tuesday to Friday and place an order directly, depending on available inventory.

“This will be a great place to talk with our team, see what unique, small-batches we’ve been working on, and to purchase products that may have sold out quicker in local Cannabis NB stores. We know our local community is  our biggest support group.” Wilson explains.  

“Big kudos to CNB (Cannabis NB) on the leadership, we are going to make sure they don’t regret this decision. We want to create something really special in our area of New Brunswick. This is for us, the intro into cannabis tourism. Yes, you can come to buy products, but we’re really looking to build this as a destination. This is step one in that. So we’re excited to be at the table.” 

A second New Brunswick cannabis producer who asked to not yet be named says they expect to announce their own farmgate store in the coming days, as well.

New Brunswick is the second province to launch a cannabis farmgate program, with Ontario being the first. Three producers in Ontario are now selling cannabis from their own farmgate stores. British Columbia says they have plans to launch their own farmgate program in 2022.

Newfoundland and Labrador also allow such cannabis retail locations. Although the province has has never released an official “farmgate” program, cannabis producers are allowed to apply for a license at or near their facility at the discretion of the Newfoundland Labrador Liquor Corporation.