Weed website designed to educate as well as market

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The Nova Scotia Liquor Corporation intends to continue updating the cannabis information on its website as more information about the sale of the product becomes available.

NSLC spokeswoman Beverley Ware said the company posted the cannabis information site in January.

“As it is with beverage alcohol, our mandate is to educate as well as to sell the product, so the intent of this site is to provide our customers and potential licensed producers with as much information as we can when we have it,” Ware said on Friday. “And then we update the site as we have new information available and will continue to update it regularly.”

The NSLC will handle sales of the product in Nova Scotia once it becomes legal.

That should happen this summer, although it may be August instead of the original July target date as legislation works through the system.

Ware said the NSLC is keeping to its original schedule as it prepares the nine stores that will handle the sales.

“We’re still working towards the federal government’s July timeline . . . in terms of renovations to stores and securing supply, which of course is the top priority at the moment.”

In January, the province announced which nine NSLC stores in the province will sell cannabis. They are in Amherst, Dartmouth, Lower Sackville, New Glasgow, Sydney River, Truro, Yarmouth and two locations in Halifax, one of which will be solely for cannabis. The Clyde Street store will not sell alcohol.

An area inside each facility that handles both alcohol and cannabis needs to be set aside andenclosed to limit access.

Ware said they also are waiting for responses from potential product suppliers.

“At the moment, we do have an expression of interest out to companies that are interested in being licensed producers and they have to respond by April 13,” she said.

“And then, based on the information that they provide us, we’ll then decide which companies can provide what we’re looking for.”

The NSLC will then ask those firms to provide a “full listing application.”

“Until we get all that information from potential suppliers about what they will have available for us, we can’t say exactly what we will be selling,” Ware said.

“We do know that it will include the dried cannabis flower, pre-rolled, as well as cannabis oil extract and the gel capsules. And we’ll also be selling seeds and just some basics in terms of accessories — essentially what you need in order to consume it. But the rest, we’ll be leaving up to the private market to sell.”

Ware said they contacted 35 potential suppliers, including both local and national producers. They met with the local ones in person.

“Health Canada issues suppliers with licences to cultivate and to sell but we don’t know if any of the local producers will have those licences in place to meet the initial expression of interest that was issued,” she said in an email later on Friday.

“Once we know that some local producers are ready, we will conduct a second EOI so that we can engage local industry and add local product to our assortment.”

NSLC is budgeting to sell 12 million grams in 2018-2019, she said.

The cannabis link on the NSLC site takes users to a series of information points.

The site also says more details about online sales will be announced at a future date.

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