Canada’s Yukon territory cedes cannabis retail sales to private sector

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The government of one of Canada’s three remote northern territories has shut down its online cannabis retail website after four years in business, turning over adult-use sales to a handful of private-sector retailers.

“In May 2022, the Government of Yukon introduced regulations that allow licensed cannabis retailers in the Yukon to sell and deliver legal cannabis products to Yukoners,” the territorial government said in a news release.

“This fulfilled the Government of Yukon’s commitment to support the Yukon’s private cannabis industry.”

The Cannabis Yukon retail website will be “re-purposed to provide wholesale purchasing options to the Yukon’s licensed retailers,” according to the release, which was issued Tuesday on the fourth anniversary of recreational cannabis legalization in Canada.

The territory is home to six licensed cannabis stores, including four in the capital, Whitehorse, and one each in Dawson City and Watson Lake.

Yukon is also home to a single federally licensed cannabis producer, ArcticPharm.

The territory’s population is less than 44,000 people, and the Yukon’s monthly adult-use cannabis sales totaled 959,000 Canadian dollars ($696,000) in July, according to Statistics Canada data.

That represents roughly 0.24% of Canada’s total recreational marijuana sales for that month.

Canada’s other two northern territories, the Northwest Territories and Nunavut, have similarly small populations.

The government of the Northwest Territories shut down its online cannabis sales website in 2021 in favor of private-sector vendor ReLeaf NT.

Nunavut has approved two private-sector online cannabis vendors and is home to one brick-and-mortar marijuana retailer after the territory started taking applications for stores in 2020.