The president of Cannabis NB is hitting back after a “sarcastic” CBC News article painted the agency as being led by stubborn, incompetent bureaucrats.
The Feb. 28 article suggested Cannabis NB’s reluctance to lower prices — and not supply product shortages — was the primary reason the agency lost $12 million over its first six months of operations.
Patrick Parent told The Manatee that the article completely ignored the fact that the legalized cannabis market is still in its infancy, and that mistakes are to be expected.
“I took issue with the headline that implied we don’t understand the tenet of competitive price marketing, and I didn’t like how it made my predecessor, Brian Harriman, look like an ass.”
Parent said legalized cannabis is a new market, not just for New Brunswick and Canada, but the world.
“We didn’t have a proven template to follow. We tried a few things that didn’t go as planned. But like any good business, we consult with consumers and adjust our model as we go.”
After failing to meet its initial sales targets, Cannabis NB then adopted more competitive pricing, with the price per gram going as low at $3.30, tax in, on promotions. To the surprise of nobody, it worked.
Last week Statistics Canada reported legal cannabis sales in New Brunswick in December were $4.1 million, an 18.4% improvement over November. It’s the fourth straight monthly increase in sales in the province.
Now that pricing is more comparable, and in some cases, better than the black market, Parent wanted to remind New Brunswickers of the things they now take for granted.
“Our clerks never tell you to come back in an hour. They don’t give you grief if you only want to buy just one gram. They don’t ask you for a lift to the Needs convenience store, they don’t blow second-hand smoke in your face and they always wear a shirt! What more do you want?”
Parent said he very busy preparing for next week’s Cannabis at the Coliseum tradeshow, otherwise he would have been happy to continue berating the black market.
“We’ve only started to scratch the surface,” he said. “When’s the last time Matt in apartment 6b accepted credit card for a weed purchase? Never, that’s when.”