Distribution of Recreational Cannabis
In the Northwest Territories (NWT), the Northwest Territories Liquor and Cannabis Commission (NTLCC) is responsible for the distribution and sale of cannabis.
The cannabis suppliers for the Northwest Territories are High Park, Canopy Growth and Aurora Cannabis.
Retail Sale of Recreational Cannabis
There are three options for buying legal, recreational cannabis products in the NWT:
• The NTLCC online store;
• The five NTLCC-run liquor stores; or
• NTLCC-approved private vendors.
The NTLCC online store only carries the product of one supplier (High Park) and all online sales are subject to Canada Post shipping charges. Age verification is required when individuals pick up cannabis from the post office.
The only products initially available for sale in NWT include dried cannabis flower, milled flower, cannabis oil and plant seeds. Edibles cannabis products were made widely available at the beginning of 2020.
Currently only five communities in the NWT have legal brick-and-mortar cannabis vendors: Fort Simpson, Fort Smith, Hay River, Norman Wells and Yellowknife.
The process for obtaining the NTLCC’s approval to open a private recreational cannabis store is extensive and tightly controlled. Applicants must provide the NTLCC with the following:
• A detailed business plan, including site plans and an explanation of how the business will be run and make a profit;
• Three years’ worth of financial statements, including copies of tax returns;
• Personal information, including criminal background checks, employment history and family history on all owners, investors, promoters, shareholders and their immediate family.
The NTLCC has currently approved a private vendor to begin selling recreational cannabis products in NWT. This private vendor will be located in Yellowknife. Additionally, a liquor store in Yellowknife has been approved to open a new storefront so as to separate its liquor and recreational cannabis sales.
General Prohibitions of Cannabis
• Minimum Age: You must be 19 years of age to buy or consume cannabis in the Northwest Territories.
• Home Growing: NWT has maintained the default position set out in the federal Cannabis Act that residents are limited to growing four plants per household. However, growing cannabis is subject to rental agreements and landlords have the right to make their properties cannabis-free.
• Interprovincial Movement of Cannabis: There are no restrictions. Adults over 19 can possess up to 30 grams (or equivalent of extract, edible or topical) of cannabis in a public place, in line with the federal possession limit.
NWT has a population of approximately 44,000.
Regulations, Guidelines & Resources
• Bill 6: Cannabis Legalization and Regulation Implementation Act
• Legalizing Recreational Cannabis in the Northwest Territories (NWT Government Summary Document)
• NTLCC website
• NTLCC Online Store website