The first legal cannabis grown in Newfoundland and Labrador is now for sale in the province, as a Corner Brook company has made a sales deal with Dominion C-Stores and shipped out its first boxes of product.
BeeHighVE is the only grower in the province to so far to be licensed to sell its product, having gotten that approval from Health Canada in May. A green light from the Newfoundland and Labrador Liquor Corp. came through later.
Prior to the sales deal, all legal cannabis sold in Newfoundland and Labrador has come from elsewhere in Canada.
For Beehighve’s founder, the sales deal means after years of work and millions of dollars spent, cash will finally flow in.
“We haven’t been making money since we started this,” said Rita Hall, the company’s president.
“Financially, it’s critical for us to be at this point right now where we’re actually bringing money in, and able to keep people employed and be operational.”
The company will be bringing back some of its employees to work next Monday who were laid off during the pandemic, said Hall, adding the sales deal allows that to happen.
The boxes of buds mark a huge milestone for Hall, who admitted that when she began chasing her cannabis dreams in 2017, she “never imagined that it would be this tough” negotiating the layers of regulations and hard work to get to her first sales.
Throughout her entrepreneurial ups and downs, Hall said ambition has fuelled her way forward.
“What keeps driving me, is that I want to do more than this,” she said.
To her, the C-Stores deal gets her closer to expansion.
“I really want to add honey, and I want to expose Newfoundland’s healthy bees. And I can’t get there without this. Because you need the financial backing, I guess, to move forward with big plans.”
Those plans include backing local beekeepers and infusing honey with CBD and THC.
“I’m hoping that through that, we’ll hopefully have our own bee farm eventually,” she said, adding she hopes to one day further expand into other food products like local berries.
While Beehighve’s sales deal covers the entire province’s network of C-Stores, it has so far shipped only to St. John’s, Portugal Cove-St. Philip’s and Labrador City.