HAPPY VALLEY-GOOSE BAY, N.L. — If at first you don’t succeed, try again.
That’s an approach the Newfoundland Liquor Corporation (NLC) is hoping will work in some areas of the province for the second round of its requests for proposals (RFP) for licensed cannabis retailers.
The first round, which closed on March 29, saw 24 applicants approved across the province, but still left both the island and most of Labrador without potential retailers.
Happy Valley-Goose Bay was one of six geographic areas where the NLC was prepared to award licenses, but no applications were received.
Greg Gill, NLC marketing and communications director, told The Labradorian they received no proposals as a result of the first phase RFP in the A0P postal code, but have gotten more interest since then.
“We have received a number of calls since the release of the second phase RFP from individuals in this area who have expressed an interest in becoming a licensed cannabis retailer and we are optimistic about finding a suitable retail partner to serve customers in central Labrador,” he said.
Gill said in areas where no retailer is awarded the NLC will look at other options, but pointed out online sales will be available across the province.
“Our goal is to have provincial coverage, and adequate coverage, of retail stores on the ground,” he said. “Our desire is to have a retail location in the Happy Valley-Goose Bay area and we’re hopeful with this secondary phase that we will have some applicants.”
Gill said a few of the areas where there were no applicants, or no adequate applicants; NLC has been seeing interest in the second round.
NLC offers four different tiers of stores in the RFP, ranging from standalone stores to inside existing businesses, which Gill said was to make sure each region had businesses that could meet the criteria.
“Our goal was to create a variety of options and in the first round we had 24 successful applicants, and in the second phase we’ll see how it goes,” he said. “We’re hopeful to find a retailer in Happy Valley-Goose Bay on the second go and we’ll see what happens once that process is completed.”
The regions were divided by postal codes, 41 in total, and three were slated for Labrador. Tobin’s Convenience in Labrador West was the successful applicant from that area. The second round of the RFP closes on Thursday, June 21.