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The NWT government says it has reduced the price of all cannabis products available through the territory’s stores by 10 percent.

Cannabis is currently legally sold through the NWT Liquor and Cannabis Commission at a handful of brick-and-mortar government-controlled stores and a website.

However, some residents say the official channels offer an inferior product at higher prices than cannabis available on the black market.

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As of Tuesday, the liquor and cannabis commission’s website priced a gram of cannabis at $13.13 – the same price as was listed on opening day in October 2018, though the commission said the price decrease had taken effect last week. (The territorial government has been approached for clarification.)

The territorial government said the price reduction was designed to help “eliminate illegal cannabis sales in the Northwest Territories” and reflected “a better understanding of the operating costs associated with the distribution and sale of cannabis.”

The Department of Finance controls cannabis sales. Finance minister Caroline Wawzonek said her government was “committed to eliminating the illegal sale of cannabis” and the price reduction was “one of many steps that need to be taken to accomplish this goal.”

Making cannabis profitable online has proved a struggle for the NWT government since Canada legalized the drug in 2018. The online store’s prices are marked up compared to those available in-store.

Meanwhile, the process to licence the first private cannabis stores in the NWT is ongoing.

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