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Frequently Asked Questions

Read some of the frequently asked questions about buying, using, and selling cannabis in Nunavut.

What are the different types of cannabis retail licences?
There are two classes of licences – physical cannabis stores and remote sales. There are two subclasses of physical stores – Enclosed Cannabis Stores and Integrated Cannabis Stores.

What is an Enclosed Cannabis Store?
Enclosed Cannabis Stores can be stand-alone buildings or a store located within an existing commercial space. Enclosed Cannabis Stores are accessible only by adults over the age of 19, with walls and a door to serve as a barrier to guard against access from minors. Enclosed Cannabis Stores can use sensory display items and discuss product information with customers.

What is an Integrated Cannabis Store?
Integrated Cannabis Stores are located within existing commercial businesses that are accessible by the general public (can be a checkout counter, window or kiosk). Integrated Cannabis Stores can only sell cannabis products and accessories from a price list, provided to the customer once they have shown proof that they are over 19. These stores are prohibited from using any advertising or promotional materials under federal law. All cannabis products and accessories must be locked and out of sight. An employee will take the order, retrieve the items and place them in an opaque bag prior to accepting customer payment.

What is covered by a Remote Sales License?
A Remote Sale license will allow a retailer to sell cannabis on-line or over the phone and ship orders to any Nunavut community. Remote sale stores must either deliver orders via Canada Post or other common delivery carrier or they can also offer pickup services at a licensed physical Cannabis Store.

Can a physical Cannabis Store also have a Remote Sales License?
Yes, Nunavut’s cannabis legislation allows a retailer to hold a Cannabis Store licence and Remote Sale Store licence for the same location, at no additional fee.

What are the eligibility requirements to be a cannabis retailer in Nunavut?
Prospective retailers must be 19 years of age or older and must not have been recently convicted of any drug-related offences under Nunavut or federal legislation. Applicants must provide a criminal record check prior to being approved. All eligibility requirements are outlined in detail in Section 25 of the Cannabis Regulations.

How will cannabis retail licences be approved?
Licensing will take place in the following stages:

1. A retail application is submitted to the Superintendent of Licensing;
2. The Office of the Superintendent completes an initial review of the application to ensure they meet the eligibility requirements outlined in the regulations (criminal records checks, business licence, compliance with security requirements outlined in the regulations, etc.).
3. Community consultations take place for physical cannabis stores; and
4. A licensing decision is made by the Minister for physical cannabis stores or the Superintendent approves a cannabis retail licence application for remote sale stores (as no community consultation is required).

You can find more details about the application and licensing processes in the Nunavut Cannabis Retailers Handbook and Cannabis Retail Application Guide.

What are the application and licensing fees to become a cannabis retailer?

  • Application fee - $2,000
  • Physical Cannabis Stores licensing/renewal fee - $1,000
  • Remote Sale Stores licensing/renewal fee - $500
  • Fee to vary a condition on a licence - $500
  • Fee for transferring a licence - $500

Nunavut Cannabis Retailers must also pay a quarterly licensing fee of 2% of their revenue from cannabis sales.

How many licences will be allowed per community? How will you choose who get them?
The regulations do not restrict the number of licences allowed in a community. The Office of the Superintendent will screen for suitability but will not rank candidates. Input from community consultations for physical cannabis stores will be considered when reviewing a licence application.

How will information from community consultations be used?
Under the Cannabis Act, community consultations are required for physical cannabis stores. Local municipal councils will be asked to provide input and community members will also have the opportunity to provide feedback. Information will be posted throughout the community, and community radio and social media will be used to inform Nunavummiut that an application to open a cannabis store in their community has been received. Feedback can be sent to the Office of the Superintendent by email, phone, mail or through local Government Liaison Officers (GLOs). All consultation feedback will be compiled into a report and will be considered by the Minister before making a decision on whether or not to issue a licence. Communities will also be able to provide further restrictions through zoning bylaws and business licensing.

What products can be sold by cannabis retailers?
Nunavut’s cannabis legislation allows for the sale of cannabis products and accessories as defined in the federal Cannabis Act. To ensure compliance with federal cannabis laws, Integrated Cannabis Stores will be allowed to sell legal cannabis products and accessories only. Enclosed Cannabis Stores and Remote Sale Stores will be allowed to sell legal cannabis products, accessories and ancillary items. Ancillary items must also be compliant with the federal Cannabis Act.

What are sensory display items?
Sensory display items are smell jars and containers that showcase cannabis products and allow customers in Enclosed Cannabis Stores to smell and see cannabis samples. Sensory display items are locked and secured/tethered to the cannabis store. No sensory display items are allowed in Integrated Cannabis Stores.

What are ancillary items?
Ancillary items are things related to cannabis use but not used in direct consumption of cannabis. The following ancillary items can be sold in Enclosed Cannabis Stores and Remote Sale Stores:

  • Medication lock boxes
  • Thermometers
  • Vaporizer cleaning kits
  • Branded apparel
  • Branded reusable shopping bags

If a retailer wants to sell ancillary items not listed above, they must get approval from the Superintendent.

Will retail employees be required to take training prior to selling cannabis to Nunavummiut?
Yes, employees who interact with customers directly must be certified in a cannabis retail employee training program. The training program will be available in all official languages of Nunavut. The program will cover the following:

  • Federal/Nunavut cannabis laws regarding cannabis retail;
  • Responsible sale and handling of cannabis;
  • How to tell if a customer is intoxicated; and
  • Responsible use of cannabis.

Are there going to be limited hours of operations for cannabis store in Nunavut?
According to Nunavut’s cannabis regulations, cannabis stores can operate from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. on any day that is not a holiday. However, the community consultation will inform the store hours for each cannabis store, and restrictions may be placed on hours of operation. Communities can also impose stricter store hours of operations through community bylaws. Each licence will note the approved hours of operation for the cannabis store.

How can Nunavut Cannabis Retailers buy cannabis that they intend to sell?
Nunavut Cannabis Retailers will be allowed to buy cannabis from any of the following sources:

  • Registered Suppliers;
  • Agents of the NULC; and
  • Other Nunavut Cannabis Licence Holders.

The Office of the Superintendent will maintain a list of all Registered Suppliers. This information will be made publicly available on the Department of Finance website.

What are Registered Suppliers?
Registered suppliers are Canadian companies that are licensed by Health Canada as Licensed Producers (LPs) of cannabis products, and that have registered with Nunavut’s Superintendent.

What are the requirements to become a Registered Supplier?
To be able to register as a supplier, companies must be licensed by Health Canada as LPs. LPs must provide the Superintendent with proof they are federally licensed and pay a $100 registration fee. Registered Suppliers must report their sales of cannabis to the Superintendent on a monthly basis. This will enable us to track all legal cannabis coming into the territory for sale.

What are Administrative Penalties?
Administrative Penalties are monetary penalties (“fines” or “tickets”) issued to retail license holders who fail to comply with certain sections of the territorial cannabis laws. Administrative Penalties are outlined in Schedule D of the Cannabis Regulations, along with prescribed penalty amounts.

How will potential Nunavut Cannabis Retailers learn and understand all these rules?
The Nunavut Cannabis Retailers Handbook is a plain language document that outlines the processes and timelines related to cannabis retail in Nunavut. A detailed Application Guide is also available to help potential retailers understand the application process. Both documents are available on the Department of Finance website. You can also get them from your community GLO. If you have any questions, please email cannabis@gov.nu.ca or call 867-975-5875.