P.E.I. is promising a wide diversity of cannabis when provincial pot stores open later this year.
The P.E.I. Liquor Control Commission has signed small purchase agreements with eight more marijuana suppliers in Canada, on top of the three major suppliers it announced earlier.
"We did have an evaluation criteria — uniqueness of the brand, its availability for the proposed legalization deadline, obviously pricing weighed into it," said Zach Currie, the director of emerging markets and channel development with the commission.
The companies with whom the province has signed deals include Tilray, 7Acres, Peace Naturals Project and MedReleaf. Canada's Island Garden from P.E.I., Canopy Growth from Ontario and Organigram from New Brunswick are the three major suppliers already signed up.
'Getting that good variety'
The new smaller purchase deals will help ensure adequate selection, variety and pack sizes with competitive pricing, Currie said.
All the companies have already been selling medical marijuana, so had a track record the commission could see.
"It's a very new endeavour and we're very excited with the opportunity," Currie said. "We wanted to ensure that from a cannabinoid content and a terpene content, that we were getting that good variety that we would be able to offer P.E.I. customers so they can explore a robust set of options and build their preferences and awareness of the products that they like."
The companies have signed agreements that allow the P.E.I. Cannabis Management Corporation to reorder, should customers like the products. Currie said he feels confident the province will have access to an adequate supply at competitive prices.
'Standard set of accessories'
P.E.I. pot stores will also carry accessories from Humble and Fume.
"We felt as though it was in our best interest to have a very simple, standard set of accessories to provide customers with the means to consume cannabis," Currie said.
"But we'll also look forward to promoting some additional establishments in Prince Edward Island that may sell accessories beyond the scope of the basic variety we'll have on day one."