The Higgs government says it has received eight proposals in its bid to find a single private operator for Cannabis NB.
Finance minister Ernie Steeves was impressed by the strong interest in the request for proposals (RFP) process.
National grocery retailer Loblaws, which owns the Atlantic Superstore chain, and Ontario-based cannabis producer Canopy Growth are among the bigger names submitting bids.
Two New Brunswick organizations – the NB Association of Cannabis Distributors and RSL NB – are also in the mix along with Nova Scotia-based Green Stop Cannabis.
Two Alberta-based cannabis retailers – Fire & Flower and YSS Corp. – and a British Columbia-based retailer – Kiaro Brands – round out the list.
The province says the proposals will be reviewed soon by a third-party through a transparent process.
A single operator could be chosen by this spring with the new private model being rolled out by later this year.
Allan Dearing is a reporter with 91.9 The Bend, a Huddle content partner.