New Brunswick’s eighth private cannabis store opens in Hampton

| Staff

New Brunswick recently announced the eighth private retail cannabis store in the province, located in Hampton, about a 30-minute drive from Saint John.

The provincial government first announced its plans for around a dozen new stores in 2021. It began vetting for ten new private cannabis stores following a tender process that ended in October 2022.

The newest store is the second Cannabis Xpress location in New Brunswick. The retail chain was also the first private cannabis store to open in the province in June 2023. Cannabis Xpress currently has 14 locations in Ontario

Local MLA Gary Crossman with Cannabis Xpress owner Chris Jones

“We are excited to finally open our newest store in Hampton,” says Cannabis Xpress owner Chris Jones. “The town has been very welcoming, as well as the residents who are excited that we are open so that they have a more reliable, convenient place to buy their legal cannabis products.

Jones tells StratCann that the new location’s grand opening was the biggest store opening in the franchise’s history, with the highest number of sales and customers. He also says Cannabis Xpress is the largest private retailer in New Brunswick by revenue, and he expects to open a third location in St. Andrews this spring.

“The private model is very successful and we hope they allow us to continue expanding since it is easier for CNB to work with a group that has scale and can continue to grow versus new operators. The model and working with Cannabis NB is much easier than Ontario, they are very supportive of the growth and success of our business—great people.”

In the agency’s most recent quarterly report in January, total sales were $23.9 million, an increase of 10.5 per cent compared to the same period last year. Net income for the quarter was $6.0 million, 26.5 per cent above the prior year’s third quarter net income of $4.8 million.

New Brunswick has taken some relatively unique approaches to cannabis retail since opening its public-only model in 2018. In addition to being one of only two provinces with a mixed public and private retail mode (BC is the other), it is one of only three provinces (along with Ontario and BC) to have a formal farmgate retail licensing system in place. 

There are currently six cannabis producers in New Brunswick now licensed to allow on-site sales direct to consumers, including the recent addition of a cannabis nursery

Cannabis NB will bring its Cannabis Expo to the Fredericton Capital Exhibition Centre on March 16. The Cannabis Expo is a cannabis education trade show that’s expertly crafted for 19+ New Brunswickers who consume cannabis, as well as those who are just curious about the industry and these products.

In it’s 2024-2025 Strategic Plan, the provincial cannabis agency also says they are exploring possible options for “on-site consumption opportunities” that can increase legal access and “meet the needs of current and potential customers.”

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