NB Liquor, Cannabis NB boss resigns after just 16 months

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Patrick Parent, the president and CEO of Alcool NB Liquor (ANBL) and Cannabis NB, has resigned after just 16 months.

In a statement posted to the ANBL website Tuesday, Parent said he plans to return to a CEO role in the private sector.

"This was not an easy decision," he said.

"During my time with ANBL and Cannabis NB, I've seen first-hand the dedication and commitment both teams have to managing and operating successful retail businesses for the people of New Brunswick. The tenacity and resiliency the teams have shown, especially during a global pandemic, has made me proud."

Parent was not available for comment Tuesday, but an ANBL spokesperson said Dec. 31 would be Parent's final day with the agency.

"Lori Stickles, our current vice-president of finance and chief financial officer, will begin acting as president and CEO on January 1st, 2021," Thomas Tremblay said in an email.

Parent joined ANBL and Cannabis NB in September 2019 as CEO and president.

In October of this year, Cannabis NB, which had been a money-loser and was being considered for privatization, rushed its second-quarter financial results to report record sales and profit increases.

"A year ago we were asked to fix Cannabis New Brunswick and we did," Parent said at a rare quarterly report news conference at that time. "Cannabis New Brunswick has the most profit per capita in Canada, something we should all be proud of."

According to unaudited results reported by the agency, sales over 13 weeks between June 29 and Sept. 27 rose to $20.1 million. That returned a $3.3 million profit.

Both these figures were records and a significant improvement over a year earlier.

Elizabeth Fraser/CBC file photo
Elizabeth Fraser/CBC file photo

During the same quarter in 2019, sales at Cannabis NB were just over half as much, or $10.7 million, and the Crown corporation lost $1.5 million.

A decision by the Higgs government on whether or not to privatize Cannabis NB's retail operations is expected by the end of this year.

CBC News has asked the Premier's Office for comment on Parent's resignation.

In the ANBL statement, board chairman John Correia thanked Parent for his "dedication to his teams" during his tenure.

"Patrick's leadership has been instrumental in Cannabis NB's ongoing success and the development of the ANBL strategic plan," Correia said.