Newfoundland lands a 20-year deal with cannabis producer Bruin

Published Jun 22, 2020 12:00 p.m. ET
iStock / Pattanaphong Khuankaew

That smell in the air is not from the fish at the plant in Bruin, it’s the sweet scent of cannabis. The old factory has been given an extended life for at least 20 more years, as the Canadian provincial government has struck a deal with the private company Oceanic Releaf to be a supplier of cannabis for the next two decades. It makes one wonder what else the agreement includes.

What’s in the deal for Newfoundland

The stoners of Newfoundland will now have two new storefront dispensaries to purchase their cannabis and accessories through. The thankful people of Newfoundland will not have to worry that these stores will be a burden to the taxpayers because there will not be a cost to the taxpayers. The taxes earned through the store will be remitted by the retail cannabis shops over the next ten years.

How much space

The 60,000 square foot facility that Ocean Releaf will use will produce 1,000 kilograms of cannabis in the first year is currently under construction. The completion of the facility, when it’s done in 2023, will allow the company to produce 4,000 kilograms each year going forward.

Taylor Giovannini Ocean Releaf’s CEO reports that those who are working on the facility are close to finishing the first stage of the refit of the fish factory in Burin. Currently, there are approximately 15,000 square feet of refit to be completed. When the task is finished, the Burin Peninsula will see the employment of as many Newfoundlanders as possible.

The project is looking to hire 76 people whose roles will include direct, indirect, and induced jobs. Newfoundland hopes to add $24.6 million to the province's gross domestic product and add $3.2 million in wages to the province in annual salaries. The company hopes that they will be procuring cannabis by next spring, although the completion is not expected until 2023.

Home sweet home


The first storefront is still to be located. Giovannini and the company are in talks with the Newfoundland and Labrador Liquor Corporation as they look to open the first store on the Burin Peninsula where she is from. She vows to work with the provincial government and open as many dispensaries as possible after the first two are up and operational. Her plan to open retail stores by the end of 2020 includes having products in all the licensed dispensaries in Labrador and Newfoundland. Oceanic Releaf will also be providing products through the NLC's cannabis website.

Breaks in the tax

The latest in cannabis news indicates that exciting things are happening in Newfoundland. The provincial government will permit a 10% break on the taxes that will be owed to Newfoundland and Labrador Liquor Commission from the companies two dispensaries worth of cannabis sales. A 5% reduction on any online purchases will be accompanied by a 3% reduction for all cannabis sold in other dispensaries in the region that it supplies cannabis to.

The minister of tourism, culture, innovation, and industry, Bernard Davis justified the tax break by acknowledging the provincial government's position, which is to encourage the growth of the cannabis industry. He states it is the province's way of assisting in the growth of the dispensaries and the entire cannabis industry as a whole.

Final thoughts

Oceanic Releaf’s development of the facility makes it possible for the revenue to be received from the new dispensaries. The company is providing much-needed revenue for the province by taking income from sales of cannabis to Newfoundlanders and Labradorians. This decision will not affect the export industry, which is what Ocean Releaf is developing. Without this development, there will be no tax revenue. Included in the deal is the Manitoba based cannabis company Delta 9 Cannabis Inc. The company will be serving as a consultant to Oceanic Releaf.

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