Cannabis Update

Yellowknife — October 25, 2018
News Releases

The Government of the Northwest Territories (GNWT) is providing an update on the distribution and sales of legalized cannabis in the Northwest Territories.


On October 17, 2018, when cannabis was legalized across the country, the GNWT began sales through existing liquor store vendors and via on-line. In the first four days of operations, sales of legal cannabis totaled approximately $129,600. Of this total, approximately $10,900 was the result of on-line sales. Sales took place in all NWT regions.


Like elsewhere in Canada, supply of cannabis has been an issue. These issues with supply are not the result of the NWT’s retail operations, but rather are caused by a shortage of supply available from licensed suppliers. Suppliers across the country have been challenged to meet the initial demand, although expectations are that supply will stabilize over time. As a result of these supply challenges, the range of cannabis products available to NWT residents has been more limited than planned both in stores and through the on-line platform. The GNWT is working to identify additional licensed suppliers who may be able to provide product in addition to what is available from the GNWT’s three main suppliers.



“While cannabis supply issues have presented some initial challenges, it is important to remember that this is a new industry that has been established in a very short period of time. The GNWT will continue efforts to provide information to residents about cannabis and to work with community governments and others to address any issues that arise.”

- Robert C. McLeod, Minister of Finance


Quick facts:

  • On October 17, 2018, the federal Cannabis Act came into force, putting in place a new, strict framework for controlling the production, distribution, sale and possession of cannabis in Canada.. 
  • On June 1, 2018, the Legislative Assembly of the Northwest Territories enacted the Cannabis Legalization and Regulation Implementation Act, which legalized the sale and use of cannabis in the Northwest Territories.
  • The Northwest Territories Liquor and Cannabis Commission (NTLCC) regulates the distribution of alcohol and cannabis to approved vendors across the territory to ensure NWT residents have safe and legal access to alcohol and cannabis.
  • Currently, cannabis is available through five NWT liquor stores (Yellowknife, Hay River, Fort Smith, Norman Wells and Fort Simpson) as well as online through the NTLCC’s online sales platform.
  • The NTLCC currently has arrangements in place with three suppliers: High Park Company; Canopy Growth; and Aurora.
  • The GNWT continues to share information with residents through social and traditional media channels to ensure that residents understand the laws about cannabis, and can make informed decisions about using cannabis.



Additional GNWT information on cannabis can be found at:

NWT Liquor and Cannabis Commission


Media inquiries:

Todd Sasaki

Senior Communications Officer


Tel: (867) 767-9151 ext. 14032