Cannabis NB continues to report profits, decision on potential sale 'in the near future'

WATCH: Cannabis NB is now turning a profit, but the province is now considering selling the crown corporation that's been operating at a loss.

Cannabis NB continues to be profitable even as a potential sale of the Crown corporation looms.

New Brunswick’s government-owned cannabis retailer reported $20.1 million in sales for the second quarter of its 2020-21 fiscal year, up 87.1 per cent from the same period last year.

That resulted in a profit of $3.3 million this quarter, Cannabis NB said.

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“We said we would fix our business and we have,” said Patrick Parent, Cannabis NB CEO.

“Our year to date results are showing that we now have a very profitable and sustainable business.”

“I believe Cannabis NB will only continue to grow, remain profitable and offer New Brunswickers the best return on their investment in us.”

Despite the Crown corporation staying in the black a potential sale is expected to be just around the corner.

Premier Blaine Higgs told Global News in September that a decision on the sale of Cannabis NB would be ready once his cabinet was sworn in.

That happened on Tuesday.

In November 2019, New Brunswick’s finance minister Ernie Steeves said the province was prepared to privatize the Crown corporation created to handle the sale of recreational cannabis.

Steeves said a review would be conducted and a request for proposals (RFP) issued. Eight companies submitted proposals in response to the RFP.

The reason given for the proposed sale at the time was Cannabis NB’s lackluster sales. The Crown corporation lost almost $12.5 million in its first fiscal year, which covered just five months.

However, since then, Cannabis NB has started to turn a profit, reporting a profit of $1.4 million during the first quarter of the current fiscal year. Combine that with the numbers reported on Thursday and Cannabis NB has made a net profit of $4.6 million in this fiscal year.

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In-store sales continue to dominate this quarter, with Cannabis NB reporting that to be the source of 98.3 per cent of its sales.

A spokesperson for the Department of Finance said it will have an update on the Cannabis NB’s RFP “in the near future.”

© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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