Loblaws plans to sell recreational marijuana at grocery store outlets across Canada

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Grocery store chain Loblaw Cos. Ltd. says it plans to sell recreational marijuana to shoppers in certain locations across Canada once the recreational drug becomes legal later this year.

Headquartered in Brampton, Ontario and with more than 2,000 grocery stores nationwide, Loblaws has significant inroads into Canadian communities. And it says it now plans to sell recreational marijuana in the tobacco shops at its stores in Newfoundland and Labrador later this year, and is considering doing the same in other parts of Canada as well.

Earlier this week, the Newfoundland Labrador Liquor Corp., which is overseeing the province’s private marijuana retail system, released a list of “qualified applicants” for retail pot licences. Ten Loblaw locations made the list, alongside 14 other stores.

“While people might imagine recreational cannabis on our grocery shelves in Newfoundland and Labrador, this is not our plan. It would be available behind the counter, in small, existing tobacco shops, adjacent but separate to our Dominion grocery stores,” Catherine Thomas, Loblaw’s Senior Director of External Communications, said in an e-mailed statement to the media.

Loblaw’s subsidiary, Shoppers Drug Mart, has also expressed interest in selling marijuana at its retail outlets, and has signed supply deals with a number of licensed marijuana producers in anticipation of receiving a sales licence later this year. But the focus of these deals appears to be on medical marijuana distribution.

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