New Brunswick's cannabis retailer reports $11.7 million loss in first year

New Brunswick's Crown-owned cannabis retailer is recording a big financial loss in its first year in operation.

Unaudited year-end results released Tuesday show Cannabis NB lost $11.7 million.

The agency says sales of legal cannabis for the fourth quarter were $9.7 million, resulting in a year-end total of $18.6 million.

General manager Lara Wood says the government knew there would be challenges but is confident objectives including reducing the illicit market and creating public awareness are being met.

Last October, former Cannabis NB president Brian Harriman said with overhead and start-up costs, he hoped the 20 stores would at least break even in their first fiscal year.

As the parent company, NB Liquor will consolidate Cannabis NB's results into its year-end results.